Like some sort of spandex-clad somersaulter often found in the medium itself, performance art has, in recent years, acrobatically risen to become the red-hot property in today’s contemporary art world. Ever since the mid-1960s, the likes of Yves Klein and Yoko Ono have been utilising the experimental and anti-commodity form to evoke radical messages and go against the commercial gallery grain. But nowadays, performance art is very much the toast of the establishment; in some cases for the better, and some for the worse.
The leading international contemporary art fair, Frieze London, returns to the heart of the UK’s capital, London’s Regent’s Park, for its 12th edition. Sponsored by Deutsche Bank and designed by Universal Design Studio, this autumn’s fair sees a few changes with the inclusion of two specialist sections: Focus, a celebration and fostering of emerging galleries up to 12 years old, and Live, a haven for performance or participatory-based work. Also new to 2014, is the fair’s novel allegiance to public space, using themes of contract, texture and tone. Design highlights of the fair’s bespoke housing include a timber-lined entrance courtyard and dedicated ancillary spaces.
Palais de Tokyo, Paris, continues to enhance it’s international agenda with Inside China – L’intérieur du Géant, running alongside the major exhibition, Inside, and opening 20 October. Curator, Jo-ey Tang, traveled across China and Southeast Asia to select five Chinese artists to be presented alongside three French artists including the renowned Nadar. Tang speaks to Aesthetica about the outstanding creatives he found and the origins of the project.
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.
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.
For 10 years Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival has continued in its aim to turn the small northern town into one big screen. Over the decade festival-goers have been given the opportunity to watch hundreds of international film premieres in a plethora of unique settings, besides the varied special events that last year saw performance artist, Sidsel Christensen, balanced precariously above the River Tweed. For their 10th year, festival organisers have not only produced a glossy anniversary catalogue, TEN, but they also prepared a spectacular Opening Gala with two UK premieres from Momcilo Mrdakovic and Ben Russell.
Artes Mundi 6 is a major contemporary art prize based in the UK, taking place bi-annually to bring together through an exhibition some of the world’s most celebrated artists of today. This year, the event branches out beyond the National Museum Cardiff to include Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff and ffotogallery, Penarth, with a programme of performance, music, site-specific installations, film, lectures and seminars.
RITE OF PASSAGE is New York’s first major exhibition devoted to the early years of the 20th century avant-garde movement, Vienna Actionism. Through a rare selection of early vintages prints and original contact sheets, as well as paintings and collages by artists such as Günter Brus, Otto Muehl, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, and curated by Hubert Klocker, the exhibition is a representative survey of the formative years of Vienna Actionism.
In a town whose faded seaside glamour is both complimented and disturbed by a swath of public art, it is only at low tide that the feverish digging can commence. A swatch of beach that in the morning looks like the realisation of a grim prophecy in a Morrissey song is by late afternoon swamped by an ecstatic crowd. Michael Sailstorfer has buried £10,000 worth of gold bullion in the unforgiving sands of the Old Harbour.
Dave Wise was once described by the producers of hit TV show Britain’s Next Top Model as “… part of the fashion elite” and is now a long way from where he began with his camera at the age of 5. Describing his work, he says: “The thought of tomorrow is so exciting, the next project, one step closer to the day after that; and it all starts all over again”. His work has appeared across the globe and clients include United Agents, The Artists Partnership, EFFIGY Magazine, FIASCO Magazine, Vogue.com, Universal Records, BOX Boutique, Christophe Willem, Channel 4, Junipero Magazine and Concierge Magazine.
International video art is celebrated in an exhibition at Birmingham Hippodrome and across the city this November. About Town is presented in partnership with Ikon and showcases a wide variety of free night-screenings by artists from the UK and abroad, in unique urban spaces. Running 13-16 November, the event combines new commissions and pieces from the Ikon’s recent programme.
The opening of the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in Brixton marks a significant milestone in the life-cycle of the south London borough of Lambeth. Proudly housed in the listed Raleigh Hall on the corner of the iconic Windrush Square, the archive finally exposes the fragility, the battle and the joy experienced by Black-Britons as they came to forge an indelible and unique contribution to the cultural landscape not only of London where the S.S. Empire Windrush docked in 1948 but spiralling outwards to encompass the entire island, creating in its wake a wave of activism and defiance.
City Visions: A season of films, talks and debates exploring modern cities, Barbican Cinema, Barbican Centre, London
50% of the earth’s population live in urban centres, a figure that is predicted to rise to over 75% by 2050; City Visions is a series of films, talks and debates that celebrate the energy of modern cities whilst exposing memorable images of urban decay and deprivation. The season engages with conversations around architecture, urban planning and globalisation, and will run alongside the Barbican Art Gallery exhibition Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age.
This exhibition currently on display is the first survey of works by David Farrell (1919-2013) since his death earlier last year, and showcases images of famous sitters from Louis Armstrong and Laurence Olivier, to Anthony Caro, Margot Fonteyn and the Rolling Stones. The British photographer is internationally renowned for his iconic images of the greatest musicians, actors, authors, dancers and artists of the 20th century, as well as documentary works depicting domestic life in Britain and anonymous street subjects.
The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is delighted to announce it is now a BAFTA recognised festival, an achievement that is unprecedented for a festival in its fourth year. This latest accolade stands testament to the creativity and bold programming of ASFF, which has now firmly established itself as a dynamic player on the film festival circuit.
There is still time today to enter Aesthetica’s creative opportunities for artists and writers. The Aesthetica Art Prize, now in its eighth year, celebrates excellence in contemporary art from around the world. Artists at any stage in their career working in all media are invited to submit works that demonstrate innovation, creativity and technical skill. The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award supports and publishes literary talent on an international scale, selecting finalists for publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual. We present the prizes available for both awards, which make them essential events to take part in this year.
Cultural identity and the constructed systems of belief within society are questioned in the practice of Yael Bartana (b. 1970). Born in Israel, the artist blends fact and fiction in her photography, film and installation work. Bartana’s Inferno appears at the São Paulo Biennial 6 September – 7 December. She speaks to Aesthetica about the importance of video art and her term “historical pre-enactment”.
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” said Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1943, proving again that in the realm of technology it is very dangerous to make any prediction at all. So although the Barbican’s Digital Revolution is an exhibition of 30-ish years of digital art, computers, websites, CGI, music videos and games rather than a manifesto, there is still some slight hubris-in-the-making at work in its putting games made in the 1990s alongside examples of contemporary technology and artwork. You feel the future looking over your shoulder throughout, and the future has a tendency to assume we were all quaint. So the Barbican is to be admired and not envied: it has curated a show that will end up being discovered as what 2014 thought of itself.
The Aesthetica Art Prize invites submissions from artists at all stages in the career, working in any medium and celebrates innovation and excellence in technical skill. Entries are open until 31 August 2014. Selected works for the latest edition of the Prize, spanning film, photography, sculpture and painting are presented here as demonstrations of the breadth and quality of works being produced today; and we highlight the longlisted artists’ achievements since the award. These include Henry Iddon, Ana Catarina Pereira, Wycliffe Stutchbury and Wilson-Eflerová (Kye Wilson and Helena Eflerová).
Over 150 leading authors and artists from more than 30 countries come together for South-East Asia’s most exciting literary event, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF). Sir VS Naipaul, Amitav Ghosh and Eimear McBride are some of the names to be taking part in this celebration of global issues, big ideas and extraordinary stories.
As much as it might seem provincial that non-western art is categorised by geography and ethnicity, Here and Elsewhere at the New Museum, New York, does justice to this grouping. Encompassing a vast territory of over 15 countries in the Middle East that include Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, UAE, and Morocco, the question of fetishising locality at the cost of undermining high standards of art is met head on. Here we see artistic productions by artists challenged by exile and war.
The latest edition of the Aesthetica Art Prize featured outstanding artists working in video, installation and performance. These practitioners are breaking new ground within their given fields, and we are delighted to showcase their selected works, while each artist brings us up to date with their progress since being longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize.
Remote, beautiful – and increasingly endangered – the Arctic has long been a subject of fascination for many and a source of inspiration for artists. SALT is an ambitious concept to create arts and cultural experiences in the northernmost regions of our planet. It will invite world-famous artists to the Arctic Circle to create works which respond to the breathtaking landscapes, nature and history of the Arctic – while always aiming to treat the landscape with care and respect.
Questioning the world around us is a continuous necessity and the desire to challenge everyday systems reinvigorates daily life. This special 60th edition of Aesthetica celebrates innovation and we take a look at a number of practitioners that are breaking new ground within their given fields. Inside this issue we start with a retrospective of French artist Annette Messager at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. For over five decades she has given ordinary objects new meaning in her large-scale installations.
Exciting times lie ahead as we move into the phase of one month left to submit your work to the Aesthetica Art Prize. Cass Art highlights this Prize as a must for emerging artists wanting to make a significant impact upon the art world today. With prizes ranging from up to £5,000 to editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine, which has an impressive readership of 168,000 worldwide, this is a unique opportunity to generate greater exposure. Read Cass Art’s recommendations here.
We are delighted to present the Judging Panel for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2015. The Prize is open for submissions until 31 August 2014. Spanning the arts, film, music and cultural industries, our judges lend their expertise to support the next generation of leading practitioners. The panellists will be looking for innovative artworks that display excellence in technical skill and ability. The Judging Panel includes the following art-world professionals.
Artist Filmmaker and Designer Sarah Jane Palmer was selected for the Aesthetica Art Prize longlist with her film Net. The work is an ongoing performance/installation in which she continues to produce a net drawing on a 10-metre paper roll during her residency at the Lace Market Gallery in Nottingham. Net is part of a body of work based on research into Nottingham’s historic lace trade and Palmer’s own ancestral connections to lace design.
It was in 1964 that the first USA exhibition of Maqbool Fida Husain (b. 1915- d. 2011), aka M.F. Husain, was displayed in India House, New York. Fifty years on, we now have the opportunity to view his Indian Civilisation series at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), London.
The notion of an entire wing of the Guggenheim Bilbao being dedicated to Film & Video phased me at first. Though increasing numbers of modern art installations seem to feature moving imagery, never had I encountered a space dedicated solely to the form. Don’t get me wrong: I consider myself a card-carrying cinephile. However, I am aware that, as the notion of ”art” becomes more porous, its boundaries, if it is to maintain its integrity, require policing, a point restated forcefully by Grayson Perry in his Reith Lectures. Surely this is a problem as much for cinematic as for fine art: where does film stop being cinema and start being “Film & Video”?
With a title which references the infamous Black Dahlia murder in 1940s Hollywood, Last Seen Entering The Biltmore is a group exhibition which considers the idea of artifice and theatricality and particularly draws attention to the idea of the theatrical “backstage” as a threshold where transformation takes place. It also addresses the wider subject of the mediation of experience, whether by the theatre curtain or the computer screen.
The Aesthetica Art Prize is an opportunity to advance your profile on the international art scene and is open to all artists worldwide. We welcome entries from all age ranges and experience levels, from upcoming talents to established practitioners. One & Other highlight the opportunities presented by the 2015 Aesthetica Art Prize awards.
Inside the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology, works from exciting new and emerging artists from around the world are displayed with an accompanying biography and artist’s statement. There are 100 practitioners included and they span across all media from sculpture and installation to video and performance.
Bob and Roberta Smith’s Art Party is due to open on 21 August. The feature film, produced with director Tim Newton and Stuart Cameron of Crescent Arts, and distributed by Cornerhouse Artist Film, will be accompanied by a UK-wide Art Party hosted by key venues who are screening the film and hosting their own parties afterwards. There will be major art events at venues including Cornerhouse, Manchester, ICA, London, Chapterhouse, Cardiff and Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough – joined by cinemas, art galleries and art schools across the UK from Derry to Exeter, Newcastle to Margate, Liverpool to Leeds. Bob and Roberta Smith speaks to Aesthetica about the important role of art in education.
During the evening of Friday 27 June and the following Saturday afternoon, the artists of Bow Road Studios opened their private working spaces and courtyard – bustling with performance artists, educational workshops, stalls, bars, and DJ beats – to the public. Housing 150 artists, Bow Road Studios consist of a renovated Nunnery (now also a gallery space); its surrounding four-storey buildings, and the recently converted biscuit factory, P1 Studios.
The collective exhibition Memory Lane explicitly prompts memories as a result of reconstructed history through the means of art. Right at the entrance, it’s the series of photographs, Tito in War (1992-1995), by Milomir Kovačević, that commemorates Tito’s portrait in after-war public spaces. Covered with blood, protected by broken glass, hanging on a half-demolished wall, these 33 photographs of photographs enact the symbolism of the leader’s portrait presence and legitimises the space.
Votes have been counted for the Aesthetica Art Prize People’s Choice Award, and we are delighted to announce that Sybille Neumeyer is the winner. Visitors voted for their favourite artwork in the group show between 4 April and 22 June, which presented the finalists from the Aesthetica Art Prize along with a further 92 artworks from the longlist displayed on monitors within the gallery.
The Aesthetica Art Prize is open for entries, with a new prize of £5,000 for the Main Prize Winner in addition to group exhibition, publication in an anthology of 100 top emerging artists and editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine. Artists in a significant point in their career have a unique opportunity to further their engagement in the international art world. The Press reports on the importance of this new award.