North Atlantic Pavilion at Liverpool Biennial: Interview with artist Sigurdur Gudjónsson

The inaugural North Atlantic Pavilion brings together artists from Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands as part of City States at this yearʼs Liverpool Biennial. It features new works from artists Sigurdur Gudjónsson (Iceland), Hanni Bjartalíd (Faroe Islands) and Jessie Kleemann (Greenland). The exhibition showcases installations, performance and moving image works by artists from countries in the North Atlantic. Their work challenges and dissects the tensions that exist in embracing a strong national and regional identity – focusing especially on work that questions the received notions and surface appearances of what ʻhospitalityʼ means.

Aesthetica spoke to one of the exhibiting artists: Sigurdur Gudjónsson about his new video work, Prelude.


Contemporary Art Gains A New Outdoor Exhibition Space, Istanbul

Project 4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art has opened of the new outdoor Terrace Exhibition area of 1500 squared meters that will be displaying 23 art works selected from the portfolios of young applicants. The artworks consist of installations, sculptures made with different materials. A new platform that will provide recognition of the selected artists in the international art scene.


Artist Rooms: Jannis Kounellis at Tramway, Glasgow.

Eighteen black wool coats hang from meat hooks mounted on iron panels. Dozens of multi-patterned, colourful rugs lie on the concrete floor. Five brown canvas sacks suspended by hemp ropes and filled with wooden furniture hover over our heads. Underneath, black wool coats lie in rows, numb on the floor, clothing 31 2 metre long l-beams. A heap of coal leans against iron panels. Seven church bells lie on iron panels on the ground and three bells suspended with ropes from three wooden beams within a steel l-beam frame echo the lull of impending death. Seven burlap sacks containing coffee beans, lentils, rice, dried peas, corn and red and white beans seem to be the only work that underlines a sense of hope. The brick walls of Tramway’s ground floor gallery on Glasgow’s Albert Drive surround these works of prodigious importance. In other words, they surround the works of Jannis Kounellis.

Outside Chapter, Interactive Art from Venice to Hamburg

After the big success of the exhibition made by a group of artists from Hamburg, held at the A Plus A Slovenian Exhibition Centre in Venice in June, it is now time for five Italian multimedia artists to fly to Germany and open the Outside Chapter exhibition at the Elektrohaus in Hamburg on 7th September.

The exhibition is the second half of new curatorial project born as an art exchange between the Art Academy of Hamburg (HFBK) and A plus A Slovenian Exhibition Centre that will promote young talented artists from Venice within a project that aims to build up a strong collaboration between the two artistic scenes of Venice and Hamburg.


One of the Forgotten at Frameless Gallery, London.

Curated by Mary George One of the Forgotten is a mixed media group exhibition. The show reflects on the consequences of human nature on man and his environment. In an attempt to investigate the subject, the exhibition features the work of nine young artists Ronin Cho, Meryl Donoghue, David George, Melissa Henderson, Rae Hicks, Kai Kim, Hannah Luxton, Sophie Percival and Spencer Rowell. Painting, video, photography and sculptures are put together to explore the theme through different mediums. Each artists analyses human nature, if not the action, the consequence and impact it has on himself, his relationships and his environment.


FreshFaced + WildEyed 2012 at The Photographers’ Gallery – Finalists Announced.

FreshFaced+WildEyed 2012 is The Photographers’ Gallery’s annual exhibition which showcases the quality and breadth of graduates’ practices from photographic courses across the UK. The exhibition aims to draw attention to innovative new talents from a range of photographic fields and will be accompanied by an online image gallery.

Twenty-two photographers had been selected from an open submission of hundreds of applicants. They were chosen by a judging panel of photography experts: Bridget Coaker, night picture editor for The Guardian and Observer and co-founder of Troika Editions; Anthony Luvera, artist; Karen Newman, Curator, Open Eye and Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers’ Gallery. The finalists have all graduated in the past year from BA and MA visual arts courses across the UK with photography forming the main component of their practice.


The Matter of Presence: dOCUMENTA (13) at Kassel

A grand high-ceilinged room, empty except for one vitrine, a light breeze wafting through, courtesy of Ryan Gander (I Need Some Meaning I Can Memorise (The Invisible Pull), 2012). Inside, a letter to Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the artistic director of dOCUMENTA (13) scrawled across five pages of A4 in a scratchy script, pleasing to the eye but difficult to read. The opening of the letter reads: “Dear Carolyn, I do write to you in remorse, because I feel you may think I betrayed your trust and confidence in me…” The letter was written by Kai Althoff, an artist billed to participate in the event. Later in the message she pleads to be pulled from the show, citing “[her] great doubt of how to continue with [herself].” The letter’s inclusion then, an act of curation on the part of Christov-Bakargiev, seems to find a middle-ground, compliant in requiring no more of Althoff, but nonetheless a definite contribution by the artist. The text of the letter is an emotional outburst, a voicing of an artist too lost in the protocol of exhibiting to have anything real to show.  The room seems suddenly mournful, but perhaps this atmosphere is provided by another work.

Benedict Andrews’ New Production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters

From 8th September to 13th October, the Young Vic presents Benedict Andrews’ new production of Chekhov’s masterpiece of disaster, deception, self-sacrifice and heartbreak Three Sisters. In a remote Russian town, Olga, Masha and Irina yearn for the adrenaline rush of life in Moscow – but their plans go nowhere, and each new twist of fate sees the sisters’ control over their destinies slip away. Watch the dramatic new trailer for this much-awaited production, designed by the renowned Johannes Schütz and supported by the Goethe-Institut London, here.


The Possibility of an Island at Grand Union, Birmingham.

Grand Union is an artist run project space in the metallic confides of Digbeth, Birmingham. The current exhibition, The Possibility of an Island, focuses on the question of what an ‘island’ is, and how said ‘island’ interacts with its environment through video, sculpture and drawing. It conjures up, even before entering the space, a unique physical tension. As the title appears to be negotiating the possibility of an island existing, one is immediately deemed to analyse what an island is. An island is something that is removed from a larger body of land, thus it tends to mould and warp the influence it has gained from other landmasses to its own isolated fixation. In doing so is it saying that this is what the work is going to be – a collection of art works crushed together in grotesque and distorted manner thick with conflict and invasiveness?


One One One at Annex East, London

In the shadow of Anish Kapoor’s Olympic tower the sun retreats stealthily into the horizon casting an impenetrable orange haze across. It is in the middle of this that Annex East’s current exhibition One One One is housed. Under the watchful eyes of the continuously circling helicopters stalking the dusk sky and the increased police presence amongst the brutalist architecture of Stratford one could be mistaken in to thinking this a scene from 1984.

One One One is an exhibition produced in collaboration with five leading contemporary galleries in London. Each gallery has submitted a piece of art from one artist: Millington & Marriott Gallery, Neil Rumming,  ANDOR Gallery, Julian King, COLE Gallery, Oliver Michaels, Hannah Barry Gallery, James Balmforth and Limoncello Gallery, Yonatan Vinitsky.


Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture exhibiting at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale

The Australian Institute of Architects will open their Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture this August at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennial.

As new economic, social and cultural challenges present themselves, the exhibition at the Australian Pavilion will act as a catalyst for discussion and debate around the changing role of architects and the ways in which they influence the world around them.

NPG x76983; James Loy MacMillan by Barry Marsden

Facing the Music: 20th-Century Portraits of British Composers at the Barber Institute of Fine Art, Birmingham.

Set deep in the heart of the University of Birmingham campus is the Barber Institute of Fine Art. It’s a rather solemn looking building that feels impeccably out of taste with the rest of the campus, it does however therefore harbour its own intriguing personality. The ground floor of the building is reserved for the concert hall. On the second floor are the gallery spaces, consisting of permanently displayed works as well as smaller individual exhibitions, and it is here that the Barber Institute’s latest exhibition Facing The Music is located.