Animated Encounters, Film Festival Review, Bristol

A coming-together of budding and established filmmakers, industry professionals, and unabatedly inspired audience, Animated Encounters 2012, Bristol, has once again provided a welcome platform from which to fully appreciate the electrifying potential of animation. The 2012 shortlisted films push the innovation bar even further than 2011, in subject, model-making, and choice of animation style to name but a few: films such as Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto and Head Over Heels showcase the leaps and bounds of progress achieved in rendering highly nuanced expressivity to models’ eyes and facial movements; while The Fat Cat exemplifies a refreshing break from traditional animator materials.


Yung Ho Chang and FCJZ: Material-ism, UCCA, Beijing

Yung Ho Chang, a pioneer of contemporary chinese architecture, presents his first retrospective at UCCA, Beijing. The exhibition, that includes over six installations, 40 models and 270 drawings, will open on Sunday 30 September. Celebrating the cross disciplinary work of the architect, Chang and his practice, Feichang Jianzhu (FCJZ), will transform UCCA’s Great Hall into six coutryard-like modules inspired by the “hutong”, the traditional Chinese neighbourhood network of narrow alleys between tile-roofed courtyard houses.

William Klein: Paintings, Etc at HackelBury Fine Art, London

For the first time in 60 years, rare and unseen works by the internationally acclaimed artist William Klein will be presented by HackelBury Fine Art in London from 21 September. A legendary figure in both photography and film with a career spanning over half a century, it has long been recognised that William Klein began his artistic career as a painter, however his paintings have scarcely been seen or published since they were first exhibited in the early 1950s. 

Interview with Maggie Pinhorn, director of Photomonth Photofair, London

Photomonth Photofair will open on 6 October at Spitalfields Traders Market, giving guests the chance to peruse stalls run by photographers and galleries selling prints, books and magazines. Aesthetica caught up with Maggie Pinhorn, director of the event, to uncover the finer details.  

Scott Campbell: They Say Miracles Are Past, OHWOW, London

Scott Campbell presents his new work They Say Miracles Are Past at OHWOW, London from October 4th through 13th. This exhibition reveals that Campbell’s appetite for patent imagery continues his repute, but it also signals a new direction.

Tony Arefin: The Graphic Design of Tony Arefin, Ikon, Birmingham

Occupying the top floor of the Ikon gallery is a retrospective collection of the graphic designs pioneered by Tony Arefin.  Despite Arefin’s name remaining largely unknown to the general public his work is widely considered a staple mark of 90’s fine art graphic design. Arefin is celebrated as a transgressor of the graphic design world, able to create works that bore an incredible air of visual communication between the viewer and the work. This ability quickly lead to his breakthrough which saw Arefin designing posters and catalogues for the likes of Institute of Contemporary Art, the Serpentine Gallery, The Chisenhale Gallery and the Ikon gallery. These elite lists of clientele lead to design critic Rick Poynor describing Arefin as “single-handedly processing the print needs of the entire British art scene.”

Eric Bainbridge: Steel Sculptures, Camden Arts Centre, London

Eric Bainbridge opens his first solo exhibition in over ten years on 28 September at Camden Arts Centre. The sculptor brings together a series of new sculptural works made from steel amongst other materials. Using steel for the first time, Bainbridge aligns himself closer with the 50s and 60s modernist abstraction embodied by sculptors, David Smith and Anthony Caro. Combining both formal and surprising elements, these new works highlight the duality that has characterised Bainbridge’s career.

Interview with Kris Ruhs on his new exhibition Landing on Earth at The Wapping Project, London

Landing on Earth, a new exhibition by Milan based American artist and maker, Kris Ruhs, inhabits The Wapping Project during the London Design Festival and Frieze Art Fair with three new works installed in the Boiler House. An idiosyncratic artist, Ruhs is a maker of sculpture, furniture, environments, ceramics, paintings, books and crafted glass, turning his hand to almost anything in his industrial spaces in Milan.


Let There Be Light, Gazeli Art House, London

‘Seeping through the creases of the walls,
Gushing through the naked windows,
Let light shine down and through us,
Let it blur the definitions of time and space.’

These are the words which introduce the exhibition catalogue of Let There Be Light – the new show at Gazeli Art House, London. The exhibition brings together a group of works from international artists and design collectives which use the medium of light as their primary means towards creative expression.


David Roberts Art Foundation: House of Leaves review

The David Robert’s Art Foundation opens its new doors at Mornington Crescent with House of Leaves. Aesthetica takes a moment to review the opening exhibition.

The small entry space of the David Roberts Art Foundation contains the obligatory gallery desk, complete with smiling interns. Backs to the wall, the interns face out toward the linear expanse of white galleries that make up the foundation’s new property.

Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly

Following the popularity of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation (2011), the director’s previous film About Elly (2009) has just received its UK cinema release. About Elly won a Silver Bear at the Berlinale, but with A Separation Farhadi went one better, taking the festival’s highest honour, the Golden Bear. A Separation is perfectly judged, maintaining its tension and intrigue evenly throughout. There are moments in About Elly when the film loses momentum a bit, making it appropriate to rank the film behind A Separation. The comparison is relative, though, as both films are masterful and gripping: among contemporary international filmmakers, Farhadi is truly outstanding.

Let There Be Light, Gazelli Art House, London

Let There Be Light, the new exhibition at Gazelli Art House focuses exclusively on artists who use light as a medium to create sculpture and installations, ranging from natural light that streams through stained glass windows to the use of neon tubing. The exhibitition runs from 14th Setptember till 28th October and features artists such as, Vittorio Corsini, Sergio Calderón, Stanley Casselman, Aaron Koblin, United Visual Artists and Henry Krokatsis. 

Interview with Samantha Donnelly on her new exhibition Reception at Standpoint Gallery, London

Samantha Donnelly is known for her experimental assemblage and collage works, which combine awkward and beautiful, often overtly feminised materials and images into telling combinations. Donnelly uses high colour and shiny textured surfaces: make-up, false nails and other feminine detritus amongst more robust applications of fabric, plaster, wood, sheet plastics and holographic papers. Donnelly comments on the territory of marketed, consumed and performed femininity. She also carefully attends to the evocations her work produces across the whole gallery space; individual works form lyrical pools of colour interspersing mass with line, the baroque and the modern, refinement with excess.In her new work Reception at Standpoint Gallery, Donnelly turns her gaze to corporate reception spaces, sites of welcome and of social / economic filtering. She reimagines the interconnected spaces at Standpoint as a series of ‘welcome areas’.

Aesthetica spoke to Samantha about her new exhibition, Reception.

Yael Bartana: And Europe Will Be Stunned, Ikon, Birmingham

With the 20th century came bloodshed and genocide on a scale so vast and industrial even now it barely seems fathomable. The Nazi’s final solution stands out as the most heart wrenching. Now, the Ikon Gallery sees Yael Bartana’s And Europe Will Be Stunned, a trilogy of films based loosely on history, but strongly fabricated, to examine the darkest years of Bartana’s own religious persuasion, Judaism. Bartana’s nationality is also somewhat examined as Bartana is of Israeli decent. Along with the trilogy being screened is a segregated room of smaller supporting mixed media works that catch the echoes, as the sounds from the films collide throughout the gallery. The trilogy bestows a beautifully grotesque window in to coercion and anti-Semitism and trudges the murky waters where the politics of Zionism lay.

Miguel Gomes, Winner of the Alfred Bauer award and FIPRESCI prize at Berlin, presents Tabu

Winner of the Alfred Bauer award and FIPRESCI prize at Berlin, Tabu (2012, dir. Miguel Gomes) is a strange and intriguing film. It begins in Lisbon where Aurora, an elderly woman on her deathbed, wants to locate a man from her past. Her neighbour Pilar finds the man, Mr. Ventura, who tells the tale of his illicit liaison with Aurora in 1950s Africa, in the shadow of a mountain called “Tabu”. The film’s themes of old age and doomed love, as well as its sensitive black-and-white aesthetic, lead you to expect a work of self-conscious artistry, but Tabu is a film which doesn’t take itself too seriously. Small moments of ironic or absurd comedy lurk beneath its surface like the caiman Aurora keeps as a pet during her colonial days.

Interview with the British Pavilion’s Venice Takeway exhibition, Venice Architecture Biennale

This year’s 13th Venice Architecture Biennale provided the backdrop to the British Pavilion’s Venice Takeaway exhibition, which began in April this year when ten architecture teams went to ten countries to gather ideas to change British architecture. interviewed the ten teams, including Aberrant Architecture and Smout Allen, to hear about their findings and their proposals for the future of architecture.


Interview with films4peace Artist: Janet Biggs

The 21st of September is World Peace Day, a day of ceasefire across the globe and the chance for artists and organisations to demonstrate acts of peace. The films4peace collaboration is a selection of films curated by Mark Coetzee and features some of the most innovative artists interpreting the subject of peace through film.

Aesthetica spoke to Janet Biggs, a contemporary artist who has had solo exhibitions at the Musée d‘art contemporain de Montréal (Montréal, Canada), the Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa, USA) in 2011, and The Mint Museum (Charlotte, USA) in 2010, about her film4peace.


Interview with Artistic Director of SACRED: Francis Alexander, Chelsea Theatre, London

SACRED, Chelsea Theatre’s exploration of live art and contemporary performance launches in October for an exciting new season. SACRED will run throughout the year, the first season beginning in October and running until February 2013, the second taking place from March to July. As well as a brand new format, a SACRED event will take place at Battersea Arts Centre this autumn adding another dimension to the programme.

Aesthetica spoke to Artistic Director Francis Alexander about SACRED and his excitement over the project.

Kiki Smith: Behold at Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

Internationally acclaimed artist Kiki Smith, exhibits her first UK solo show since 2006 at Timothy Taylor Gallery this October and will feature sculpture, bronze wall reliefs, stained glass, porcelain figures and tapestry.

To Hope, To Tremble, To Live: Modern and Contemporary Works from the David Roberts Collection, Wakefield

David Roberts’ private collection of contemporary work is about to go on display at The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield. From the 27th October until the 3rd February To Hope, To Tremble, To Live will be exhibited for the first time in a gallery outside of London.

Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival, Bristol

The 18th Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival takes place this September, at Bristol’s harbourside and across the city centre. The Festival’s stunning line-up for this year includes new visual art and animation exhibitions, pioneering 3D Soviet Russian work, a Finnish cross-dressing zombie band in a circus tent & much more.

The Nour Festival of Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African Arts and Culture, London

The Nour Festival will be celebrating contemporary arts and culture from across the Middle East and North Africa, starting on the 1st of October and running until the 1st of December. It will be a borough-wide event based in Kensington and Chelsea and will take place at venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre and the Mosaic Rooms.

Homecoming, Boo Ritson, Oklahoma City

Homecoming, an exhibition from London based artist Boo Ritson, will be opening on Tuesday the 10th October at the City Arts Center, Eleanor Kirkpatrick Gallery, Oklahoma City and will run until the 21st December. The new exhibition, seeks to express Boo Ritson’s life-long fascination with American culture, stereotypes and landscapes.


Nathan Coley: A Place Beyond Belief at Haunch of Venison, London

Nathan Coley, Turner prize nominee in 2007, is exhibiting in the plush, society spaces of The Haunch of Venison’s New Bond Street premises. Though the walls are white, the high ceiling, polished wooden floor, and extravagant marble stairs speak of the luxurious Mayfair surroundings.

Liverpool Biennial 2012, The Unexpected Guest

Liverpool Biennial 2012, The Unexpected Guest, is set to open tomorrow, Saturday 15th September and will run until the 25th November. Curated by Sally Tallant, it is the largest contemporary festival in the UK and runs for ten weeks every two years, comissioning the most exciting artists from around the world. In 2010 the event attracted over 600,000 visitors marking Liverpool as a City rich in visual arts.

Oramics to Electronica- Talk Series, London

Electronic music is unavoidable in modern society, we hear it constantly pumping out of clubs, cars, bars and on the radio every single day. Acknowldeging this, the Science Museum, London, will be taking an entire day, on the 29th of September, to examine the roots of this now wide-spread music. Oramics to Electronica- Talk Series will take a close look at the originators and inventors of this influential genre.

House of Leaves, David Roberts Art Foundation, London

Four years after opening a public space in London, David Roberts Art Foundation is packing and moving to a new larger location at Mornington Crescent. The 19th Century former furniture factory will be opening it’s doors as an art gallery on the 21st of September with the new exhibition House of Leaves, curated by Vincent Honoré.


Pilvi Takala : Breaching Experiments, Site Gallery, Sheffield

Breaching Experiments is the new exhibition by Finish artist Pilvi Takala at Site Gallery Over the past decade Takala has developed a critical body of singular performance pieces, unpicking those conventions created within micro-social environments. Breaching Experiments brings together several of Takala’s recent film based works as well as two performances to take place during the exhibition.  Her films are often filmed covertly, capturing and observing or in some cases re-enacting seemingly bizarre social situations. Awkward, provoking, uncompromising and at times unbearably embarrassing, Takala exposes the unspoken rules of society and draws intrinsic conditions to the surface.

Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam

As the title suggests, Unseen, is a celebration of international contemporary photography, showcasing work from new and established photographers. Starting in less than a week at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek the show runs from the September 19th to the 23rd.


Berlinde De Bruyckere, Hauser and Wirth Outdoor Sculpture, London

‘I have a stag for you’ the woman heard.
‘She was astonished and delighted, she could barely speak.’
‘But he’s very thin’ the friend went on ‘he’s borderline’
‘He much does he weigh?’ was all she asked.
‘As much as a man’ he said.
Extract from Berlinde De Bruyckere. Romeu my deer 2012.

Rupert Newman at Hospital Club, London

To coincide with London Fashion Week, Rupert Newman will be creating a series of multi-sensory installation pieces exploring the interaction between the static and the projected image at The Hospital Club in London, from Thursday 13th September 2012.


Kimathi Donkor: Queens of the Undead, Iniva, London

Kimathi Donkor’s new exhibition Queens of the Undead, will be unveiled at Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) at Rivington Place from 13th September until 24th November. A presentation of a series of new commissions by the artist celebrating heroic black women from history, alongside selected earlier works, involving dramatic large-scale paintings expressing pathos, wrath, devotion and irony.


The Imposter, Bart Layton

The Imposter, a critically acclaimed new documentary, sets itself up as an investigation, looking into the story of a master impersonator. Frédéric Bourdin, a Frenchman of Algerian background, was 23 when he successfully passed himself off as a missing 16-year old from Texas. Despite having an accent in English, brown eyes instead of blue, and little memory of his supposed former life in the US, the young man was welcomed back by his ‘family’ with great emotion.


Lindsay Seers: Nowhere Less Now, London

Conceived specially for an arresting 19th century corrugated iron chapel in Kilburn, known as The Tin Tabernacle, Nowhere Less Now is British artist Lindsay Seers’ ambitious new installation. From the unlikely connections between the chapel, the birth of her great great uncle, George Edwards, the birth of Mina Bergson, artist and sister of French philosopher Henri Bergson, and her own birth exactly 100 years later to the day, Seers has created a journey across time. Entangling global histories with intimate stories, the work explores image-making mediums, sea-faring and migration.

Frieze Masters 2012: Talks Programme Announced

Frieze Masters presents a unique perspective on the relationship between old and new art and presents over 90 of the world’s leading galleries. The speakers taking part in Frieze Masters Talks are Cecily Brown & Nicholas Penny, Glenn Brown & Bice Curiger and Luc Tuymans & Dominique de Font-Réaulx, forming an integral part of the inaugural edition of the fair. The talks programme at Frieze Masters is intended to describe how contemporary artists engage with art from ancient to modern and will consider what remains relevant in the present by discussing not only how artists perceive historical collections but also the role that this encounter plays in their work.

Gary Hume: 2 at Sprüth Magers, Berlin

Gary Hume’s exhibition 2 at Sprüth Magers Berlin presents new works by the artist this September. For the artist’s second solo show in Berlin, the gallery will showcase an intimate series of works on paper, to be displayed for the very first time, completed by the addition of gloss paint upon the glass of the frame. These multi-layered compositions will be shown alongside three recent paintings on aluminium.


Alain Clément, NIROXprojects, Johannesburg

As part of the France – South Africa Seasons, Nirox Foundation in association with Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris will be hosting French artist Alain Clément throughout September. In addition to one of Clément’s monumental sculptures being installed at the Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park – NIROXprojects will be hosting an exhibition of Clément’s wall sculptures at Arts on Main, Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg. 

Jenny Holzer: The Future Please at L&M Arts, Los Angeles

L&M Arts showcases Jenny Holzer: TheFuture Please, the artist’s first major exhibition in Los Angeles in many years. To mark the occasion the exhibition will be presented in two parts. The West Gallery will take the viewer through a selection of the artist’s work from the 1970s to the present, including granite benches and her iconic LED signs. The East gallery will showcase Holzer’s latest body of work, the Redaction Paintings, based on declassified and other sensitive US documents and inspired by Russian Constructivism.

Alice Anderson: From Dance To Sculpture, Riflemaker, Frieze Art Fair

The French-Algerian artist  Alice Anderson returns to Riflemaker after two years for a special Frieze show: From Dance to Sculpture,  a geometric room installation that will transform the entire main space at Riflemaker into a labyrinth of metal rods. As visitors negotiate their way through Anderson’s fragmented sculpture, they will generate their own performance, making the rods vibrate with their body gestures.

In this Frieze Week world premiere at Riflemaker, Anderson will appear together with her group of performers. They will weave between the 365 floor-to-ceiling bars, one for each day of the year of the artist’s remembered 11-year-old self, as they wind, ritualistically, doll’s hair and copper wire.

Aesthetica spoke to Alice about her forthcoming exhibition at Frieze.

Festival Materiais Diversos 2012: Portugal In Brazil, Brazil In Portugal

In its fourth edition, Festival Materiais Diversos makes its first stopover in Brazil. From the 14th to the 29th of September, 13 Portuguese artists and 9 Brazilian artists bring body, movement, dramaturgy and music to Alcanena, Minde and Torres Novas, with a total of 15 projects. In the year of Portugal in Brazil and of Brazil in Portugal, Festival Materiais Diversos addresses other facts and figures.