Bharat Sikka: Matter, Amsterdam

Matter is a new series of works by photographer Bharat Sikka. Featured on the cover of Aesthetica Issue 52, Sikka is an outstanding photographer commissioned by the likes of  The New York Times, Wallpaper, Vanity Fair and Vogue India. His new images are in a variety of formats, blending studio, street, landscape and portrait photography into a reflection of the “new” India, an ancient culture colliding with contemporary realities. From 25 September until 29 September his photos will appear as part of the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam at The KunstKerk

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Thessaloniki Biennial of Contemporary Art: Everywhere But Now

The Thessaloniki Biennial of Contemporary Art opens to the public 19 September under the thought provoking title, Everywhere But Now. Relating to the questions of space and time, the exhibition brings together various artists including, Marina Abramović (Serbia), Khaled Jarrar (Palestine), Haris Epaminonda (Cyprus), Peter Wüthrich (Switzerland) and many more. Everywhere But Now will be both powerful and personal as audiences are offered the opportunity to speak to the artists directly.

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Formento+Formento: Circumstance

This September Formento+Formento celebrates the launch of a new artbook, Circumstance. The book will be released by YellowKorner internationally and will arrive in the UK on 12 September and in France on 18 September. The photographic duo, made up of BJ and Rochelle Formento, will attend a special evening event on Wednesday 18 September at the YellowKorner gallery in the Pompidou centre. Featured on two covers of Aesthetica, Formento+Formento’s striking frames uncover cinematic beauty and theatrical stories.

Review of Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me at Somerset House, London

A host of female characters inhabits a long hall of a space in this major retrospective of photographer Miles Aldridge’s work. In this assembly of stereotypes, actress-models inhabit and reinterpret the familiar costumes and stances of the film noir femme fatale; the medieval icon, eyes brimming with ecstatic virginity and pearly tears; the desperate housewife beset with near comedic anxiety; and the helpless overindulger, guilty at the expense she incurs and the food she consumes (a red raw steak tartare in A Precious Glam #2 (2011), an enormous coke and bucket of popcorn in 3-D (2010)). I Only Want You to Love Me is a picture of excess  conveyed as flawed but ultimately addictive: Aldridge lights and frames his visions of excess with a love of acid tones and symmetry that encourages the viewer to indulge in concert with his subjects.

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Country Matters, London

Bringing together the work of  Bert Hardy, Roger Mayne, Tony Ray-Jones, Colin Jones, Chris Killip, Homer Sykes, Sirkka-Liisa Kontinnen, Martin Parr, Mark Power, Anna Fox and Ken Grant, Country Matters at James Hyman, London, is an exhibition of photographic greats. Running 11 September until 11 October, the show includes black and white shots from the 1940s to the present day that reflect a range of responses to English society. 

PHOTOQUAI, Paris

The purpose of the PHOTOQUAI photography biennale is to highlight the best photography from across the globe. Since its creation in 2007 there have been four editions, giving exposure to 200 photographers, most of them unpublished in France. Running 17 September until 17 November, the festival seeks to make publicly known non-Western artists whose work remains unpublished or little known in France, to encourage the exchange of ideas and an interchange of perspectives of the world.

Interview with BAFTA award-winning sound recordist, Chris Watson

Chris Watson is one of the UK’s pre-eminent sound recordists. He has worked all over the globe and won a BAFTA in 2012 for his soundtrack on David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet series. This September, Watson’s exhibition Inside the Circle of Fire will transform Millenium Gallery, Sheffield, turning it into an immersive sound-map of the city, where the recordist grew up. Watson speaks to Aesthetica about his journey through Sheffield and his approach to sound.

Review of Kool-Aid Wino at Franklin Street Works, Stamford

A mysterious final word ‘mayonnaise’ is how Richard Brautigan ended his most well known book, Trout Fishing in America. The title for the current group exhibition at Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT takes its name, Kool-Aid Wino, from one of the chapters in the book. It is a story about a disabled child in a poor family who becomes addicted to Kool-Aid (without even adding sugar) in the same way that an unemployed adult might become an alcoholic. Sad, funny, and slightly absurd sums up the story, as with most of the Brautigan’s work. Clare Barliant, who curated Kool-Aid Wino, employs Brautigan’s method of trial-and-error writing to form the basis of this show. It has been speculated that the word ‘mayonnaise’ was not supposed to be added to the book, but that Brautigan accepted the error as a serendipitous slip. This is what Barliant champions: that some of the most successful pieces of art are riddled with mistakes that have triumphed instead of travestied.

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Docks Art Fair, Lyon

Founded in 2007, Docks Art Fair celebrates its fourth year by taking up a permanent site. Since its conception, the event has become a centre for art lovers and this year it leaves its temporary structure and moves a few 100 meters to the south of the Sucrière, home to the Biennial of Lyon, at the tip of the Confluence. The new building is a steel and glass structure, lovingly planned by architect Odile Decq. Running 12 – 15 September, the new solid foundations of the event reflect the evolution of the fair as permanent feature of the contemporary art market.

Review of Lucy + Jorge Orta at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Lucy and Jorge Orta have worked in collaboration in various media since 1991. The general thrust of their work is located in the exploration of responses to global concerns surrounding issues of survival and sustainability. The exhibition now housed within The Longside Gallery at Yorkshire Sculpture Park centres around the subject of Water. It is a highly thought-provoking exhibition. Aesthetically, the viewer finds continuity throughout the exhibition. Most striking, however, is the implicit comparison drawn between geographical regions of starkly unequal access to water. Such inequalities are given greater force by the meditative aftertaste of what, at first glance, impresses for its cheerful innocence in the aesthetic.

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Shortlist for New Sensations Prize

Channel 4 and The Saatchi Gallery have announced the shortlist and finalists for this year’s New Sensations Prize. The work of 20 young artists will be exhibited in a show in London opening 12 October. Highly competitive, the final selection is comprised of 20 graduates from BA and MA courses at UK and the Republic of Ireland colleges and universities. The artists have been chosen by a judging panel made up of Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin; Nick Hackworth, founder of Paradise Row, London; Ossian Ward, formerly visual arts editor of Time Out and now at the Lisson Gallery, London; Tabitha Jackson, Commissioning Editor, Arts, Channel 4; and Rebecca Wilson, Chief Curator, Saatchi Online and Director, Saatchi Gallery.

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Garry Fabian Miller: Voyage, London

Garry Fabian Miller’s new series, Voyage, marks the close of a 37-year chapter and represents an exciting new direction for the artist. HackelBury Fine Art, London, opens the debut of the collection this September and celebrates this pivotal moment in his career through bringing together a set of 40 newly released images from his very first series: Sections of England: The Sea Horizon, 1976-77. For his recent works Fabian Miller was prompted by the discontinuation of the dye destruction process, and he makes a final return to the subject of the horizon using the last stock of Cibachrome paper.