The BAFTA Qualifying ASFF: Aesthetica Short Film Festival is a celebration of independent film from across the world, and an outlet for supporting and championing short filmmaking. One of the UK’s most exciting site-specific events, this year’s festival will take place in 15 iconic venues across the historic city of York from 6 – 9 November 2014. ASFF offers a first look at the latest experimental and artists’ films from leading practitioners working across the UK and the world, focusing on their aesthetic and intellectual contributions to contemporary visual culture.
“I have been thinking of the pieces as participants in the same activity. They are all similar, like patients in a lobby waiting for the therapist…they all need to talk but say different things.” -Justin Adian Featuring a series of new paintings and coinciding with Frieze London, Strangers is the first U.K. exhibition by American artist Justin Adian.The title Strangers is a mediation on the transformation that occurs once the pieces have left Adian’s studio to venture out into the world, revealing the artist’s deeply personal relationship to the works.
In the Special 60th Edition of Aesthetica we celebrate the emerging photographers that are shaping the future of the image-based practice in The Next Generation. We have partnered with the London College of Communication to survey some of photography’s rising stars and showcase their fresh ideas and new concepts. Iranian photographer Sadaf Chezari lives and works in London and began capturing images of her father after she felt intrigued by his apparent level of displacement in the UK. In 2013 she was awarded First Prize in the Michael Wilson Award and the Flowers Gallery Professional Mentorship Award. She speaks to Aesthetica about the way she considers space when shooting and her future plans.
The Turner Prize is an annual arts event never to be missed, and this year the shortlisted artists – Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell – have the added prestige of appearing at Tate Britain alongside an exhibition showcasing the work of the great J.M.W. Turner himself.
Review of Mary Kelly: On the passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
A famous critique of Jean-François Lyotard’s brassy “I define postmodern as incredulity toward meta-narratives” is that, if you go in for his postmodernism, you have to be incredulous towards this statement as well. You also have to distrust the meta-narrative of postmodernism, and have to distrust the “have to” part, then not take that distrust for granted in turn, and so on and backwards. This quickly becomes recursive, the mental equivalent of looking in a mirror at a mirror behind you. So what starts out as a defence against monolithic and dubiously agenda-driven claims to power becomes paralysing quickly – what possible action can you take when everything triggers an endless chain of distrust? For artist Mary Kelly, whose career has been devoted to a narrative-based analysis of Feminism and post-modernism, flitting between the personal and the theoretical as in her famous Post-Partum Document (1973–1979), this is of crucial importance. How much incredulity, or rather self-incredulity, is needed, is healthy – even towards the narratives of Feminism and post-modernism themselves?
In a sprawling megalopolis like Mexico City it can be a pain to get from one place to the next, making it complicated to coordinate group gallery openings. However, with the explosion of contemporary art in the Mexican capital galleries are becoming more integrated, connecting through mutual interests when its not possible to connect by proximity.
The work of Japanese artist Shinro Ohtake appears in a solo exhibition at Parasol Unit, London, this autumn. Running 12 October – 12 December, the presentation showcases Ohtake’s extensive, diverse and innovative body of work. With a practice spanning 30 years, the artist has positioned himself as one of the most important creative forces in contemporary Japanese art. His expansive output is based primarily around the activity of cutting and pasting, but also includes drawing, pasted works, painting, sculpture and photography, as well as experimental music and videos.
The work of fashion photographer Horst P. Horst, whose evocative images are some of the most well known of the 20th century, is showcased in a new exhibition at the V&A, London. The show features 250 photographs and describes the photographer’s collaborations with leading fashion icons such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel in Paris. Horst began his career as a society photographer in the 1930s and his groundbreaking style and innovative use of light and shadow helped him to create carefully structured shots of models. The perfect blend of light and shadow were used to startling effect in his work and in 1943 his editor at Vogue cited his subtle manipulation of lighting as one his key strengths.
Aesthetica Issue 61 is now available to purchase online and in stores internationally. The new edition considers progress and change. There are a few questions around this including how much time needs to pass before something needs to change, or is it simply the case that progress is continuous? The key element is to recognise developments, keeping your eyes and ears open. This is particularly important in the art world because when you start tracking artists and noticing trends, this is when things start to get exciting, especially when those trends are just under the radar.
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Forced Entertainment has spent the last three decades pushing the boundaries of contemporary performance. Founded in 1984 by six recently graduated artists, the theatrical group have created numerous productions that have continued to play with language, staging, costume, lighting, humour, narrative sound and the very nature of a performance piece. Artistic Director Tim Etchells is also a solo artist and has seen his work exhibited internationally. This year he is officially Artist of the City of Lisbon. He speaks to Aesthetica about upcoming performance, The Notebook, and his ability to sustain a theatre company for 30 years.
In the Special 60th Edition of Aesthetica we celebrate the emerging photographers that are shaping the future of the image-based practice in The Next Generation. We have partnered with the London College of Communication to survey some of photography’s rising stars and showcase their fresh ideas and new concepts. Award-winning photographer Alice Myers has pursued documentary projects in Mexico, Ireland and France. Her works look at migrants attempting to cross borders and her series Nothing is Impossible Under the Sun captured people in Calais trying to get into the UK. She speaks to us about the impact of winning awards and her interest in border crossing.
The 16 October hosts the opening of Nabil Nahas’ new exhibition in London. The title of the exhibit, Phoenix Dactylifera, derives from the artist’s heritage and is the name of the native Date Palm tree from the Middle East. As one of Lebanon’s most significant contemporary artists, Nahas will be the most noteworthy and first to exhibit in the UK to date.