Mobile Homestead is a permanent art work by the late Mike Kelley located on the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. It’s both a public sculpture and a private, personal architecture – based on the artist’s childhood home on Palmer Road in Westland, a neighbourhood which primarily housed workers for the Big Three auto makers: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. In a largely disinvested city with many abandoned houses and dilapidated buildings, Mobile Homestead enacts a reversal of the ‘white flight’ that took place in Detroit following the inner city uprisings of the 1960s. It does so at a time when the city is exploring new options of renewal by assessing its singular post-industrial conditions in an attempt to articulate a new model for American cities. The sculpture, which almost exactly replicates the vernacular architecture of working class neighbourhoods in the American Midwest, brings the suburbs back into the city, and as it travels – on specific missions – the mobile home performs various kinds of community services, establishing a permanent dialogue with the community that houses it.
There is just one month to go before the submission deadline for the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2013 (ASFF). Enter your film by 31 May and screen your work in an impressive setting to an international audience and be in with the chance of wining a cash prize. ASFF allows for both budding and established filmmakers to connect with new, worldwide audiences and interact with some of the biggest personalities in the film industry today. High profile ASFF attendees in 2012 included representatives from Warp, BAFTA, Channel 4 and Raindance. Over 200 films will be screened at this unique event, in 15 iconic locations across the historic city of York in the UK from 7-10 November 2013.
When an important, popular figure dies, fans seem to need more than their legacy – more than their work – to remember them by, to cling to them through. Physical mementoes, objects – things which that specific person touched, used, loved – are obsessed over; particles of skin and saliva on a napkin George Harrison used take on strange importance. Voyeurism and celebrity obsession have grown to a point now where people are paying up to $15,000 for a pair of stained underpants worn by Elvis Presley, a rumoured million for a pair of John Lennon’s glasses, and, perhaps most bizarrely, $45,000 for a set of three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe’s chest. However, this strange obsession we seem to have with the physical remnants left in the wake of our popular icons can be traced back a surprisingly long way. Darwin’s beard, for example, Abraham Lincoln’s hair and even Galileo’s finger have survived decomposition and remain, today, preserved behind glass for us all to gawk at.
Trade Routes have connected the major centres of civilisation in Europe and Asia since antiquity. These routes not only made the exchange of goods possible, but also fostered cultural exchanges between distant regions. The group exhibition, Trade Routes‘, on view at Hauser & Wirth in Piccadilly, presents a diverse picture of where these trade routes stand in today’s globalised society through the lens of 15 artists. The exhibition features video installations, sculptures and two-dimensional works by artists based in Africa, China, Europe, India, and the Middle East including Adel Abidin, Fatima Al Qadiri & Khalid al Gharaballi, Alighiero Boetti, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Subodh Gupta, Gülsün Karamustafa, Bharti Kher, Rachid Koraïchi, Lee Xe, Maha Malluh, Bettina Pousttchi, Hassan Sharif, Wael Shawky and David Zink Yi.
Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography is a city-wide event, featuring exhibitions, screenings, performances and events showcasing outstanding photographic work from around the world, and providing a major new platform for Welsh artists. Hosted by Ffotogallery, the month long celebration (1 – 31 May) of photography includes highlights such as the world premiere of award-winning filmmaker Gideon Koppel’s B O R T H and Lure, a major exhibition of new work by Helen Sear, another of Wales’ most important and insightful artists.
It is the day before the death of Baroness Thatcher and about five-dozen people (give or take) are being transported, for a solid few hours, back in time to the height of Thatcher’s reign as prime minister. However, during the double back-to-back screening of This is England ’86 and This is England ’88 at the BFI on the 7 April (part of the BFI’s Warp season), her commanding voice only breaks through the audio momentarily, her poised image ordering war flickers between scenes only briefly; Thatcher, her policies, the England she created (or, to some, broke) are all there throughout This Is England ’86 and ’88, yet director Shane Meadows manages to push her overwhelming and all-consuming presence behind the scenes, turning Thatcherism into a mere backdrop: a contextual landscape in front of which a most emotionally-destructive, heart-wrenchingly tragic (yet, at times, invigoratingly comedic), brutal depiction of humanity plays out.
The Drives is Paul Pfeiffer’s third exhibition at Thomas Dane Gallery and he brings together a large sculpture, two video installations and a series of photographs. Running 26 April until 25 May, these works form an investigation into the emotional drives that prompt human behavior and lie behind our attempts at understanding and organizing the world around us. From the seemingly perfect and ritualistic architecture of mass spectacles, to the creation of animal communities, to the deceptive secrecy of the family cell, the tensions between these two categories arise throughout Pfeiffer’s works.
James Scott, son of the celebrated artist William Scott, opens a special screening of his film Every Picture Tells A Story (1984), which explores the early life of Scott. The film is screened as part of the BFI Southbank’s ongoing Projecting the Archive series and this film will be presented on 9 May. An idiosyncratic portrait of his father’s early years, James Scott examines William Scott’s entrance into the art world in this insightful film. William Scott is the subject of a number of centennial exhibitions across the UK this year (including at Tate St Ives, the Jerwood Gallery Hastings, The Hepworth Wakefield and National Museums Belfast).
The IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival is looking for submissions. Running 29 June until 6 July in Bulgaria, the final deadline for submissions is 15 May. A celebration of professional short film, entries must not exceed 27 minutes in length, the festival covers a wide range of genres including fiction, documentary, animation and experimental. Aside from the selection of outstanding films, there will be a programme of training facilities, an industry market and pitching sessions of ideas and rough-cut projects. The festival also encourages an educational and professional environment, where filmmakers of different ages, experience and background can collaborate.
The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition at York St Mary’s, York, will be open for one more week, closing on 28 April. The Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world. Previous finalists include Julia Vogl, who was shortlisted for New Sensations – Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4′s Prize – and has exhibited at Zabludowicz Collection; Marcus Jansen, a leading modern expressionist who joined a legacy of artists by featuring in Absolut Vodka’s artistic campaigns, and Bernat Millet, also shortlisted for National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. The exhibition includes the two winners, Poppy Whatmore and Damien O’Mara, and the 6 other shortlisted artists, besides the work of the 100 longlisted artists.
Multi-Media artist Mounir Fatmi’s first UK solo show, History is Not Mine, opened at the Paradise Row Gallery on 19 April. Fatmi has become a leading voice of a new generation of young Arab artists, whose work fuses Arabic traditions with stylised Western conceptual art to generate critical dialogue inside and outside the Arts world.
The Zabludowicz Collection has unveiled the list of artists featured in Sound Spill, a group exhibition curated by Thom O’Nions and Richard Sides, a curator and an artist who have been awarded a curatorial research grant to develop the exhibition after a research period in New York City. Sound Spill brings together existing works from the Zabludowicz Collection alongside a series of new commissions and works selected by the curators in the lead up to the exhibition. The curators have selected artists from London and New York, creating a transatlantic, multidisciplinary exhibition.