Review of Marrakech Biennale

A biennial is at its best, according to veteran biennial curator and critic Hou Hanru, when it is “culturally related to the local traditions of the exhibition site but open to international exchanges.” This Janus-faced idealisation of the international art event speaks to contemporary discourse on the global versus the local, a binary that regularly exercises biennial makers, participants and viewers. Located literally in time and space yet populated conceptually by global concerns, the biennial runs the risk of becoming fundamentally dislocated.

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Brighton Festival: 3-25 May 2014

Opening on 3 May this year, the Brighton Festival will run for three weeks and is set to feature an abundance of exciting and innovative work across the disciplines. The festival will include a range of works, from Russian theatre to contemporary dance, as well as literature, visual arts and debate. This year, composer, choreographer and performer Hofesh Shechter will step into the role of Guest Director, a position previously filled by such greats as artist Amish Kapoor, actress Vanessa Redgrave and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

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Kathrin Sonntag: I See You Seeing Me See You, Cooper Gallery

Berlin-based artist Kathrin Sonntag’s new installation I See You Seeing Me See You will be showcased until 4 April at Cooper Gallery, University of Dundee. The piece consists of everyday objects including mirrors, display cases, tulips and paint all re-contextualised into an intriguing ensemble. Items from museum and taxidermy collections also feature, such as glass prosthetic eyes for the blind and animal eye.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, York

Showcasing innovative and outstanding pieces, the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition features shortlisted works from artists in the following categories: Photographic and Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design and Sculpture; Painting and Drawing, and Video, Installation and Performance. This year’s show opens at York St Mary’s, York, in collaboration with York Museums Trust on 4 April and runs until 22 June. The shortlisted artists include Amedeo Abello & Federico Morando and Inés Molina Navea for Photographic & Digital Art; Deb Covell and Elke Finkenauer for Painting & Drawing; Harriet Lewars and Ingrid Hu for Three Dimensional Design & Sculpture and Julia Weißenberg and Sybille Neumeyer for Video, Installation & Performance.

OBEY Collaborates with Artist Deedee Cheriel

Visual artist, Nalini “Deedee” Cheriel, has teamed up with OBEY clothing to produce a unique fashion collection. The artist started out creating record covers and T-shirts for the Oregon music scene in the early 1990s and has since gone to become an acclaimed practitioner. Her bold and colourful designs now adorn several sweatshirts, vests and t-shirts for OBEY, making for a stand-out item in anyone’s wardrobe.

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Whitechapel Gallery – Chris Marker

Running from 16 April – 22 June, shown together for the first time, five of Chris Marker’s multi-media installations will be on display at the Whitechapel Gallery as it celebrates the Director who is best known for his dedication to the “essay film”. This free exhibition of the influential filmmaker’s work will present films and photographs from throughout his notable career.

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RSA New Contemporaries, Edinburgh

The best emerging artists are showcased in the sixth annual RSA New Contemporaries at the Royal Scottish Academy Galleries, Edinburgh, until 12 March. The exhibition features a carefully curated selection of 63 graduates selected from the degree shows in 2013, offering a unique insight into the Scottish artists of the future. 

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… all silent but for the buzzing … Royal College of Art

This new exhibition, featuring graduating RCA Contemporary Art Students, explores the indistinct spaces that reside between chatter and silence. Open 6 until 23 March at the Royal College of Art galleries, it features the likes of John Cage, Alexandrina Hemsley and Lina Lapelytė.

Interview with Artist Roger Ballen

American photographic artist Roger Ballen has spent most of his adult life living in Johannesburg documenting what he calls his “interior”. The startling image-making intercourse with the darker layers of Africa that this entails delivers more than a Roger Ballen Interior; it is the kind of art that hits so hard that it demands a confrontation with the viewer’s interior, too. Having worked for many years as a geologist, Ballen’s work asserts the need to descend to the disturbing dimensions of human experience in order to mine the baffling anatomies of instinct that animate us all. On the cusp of the release of Asylum of the Birds his twelfth book, Ballen talks to Aesthetica about how his artistic evolution is currently in the mood for a party.

Michel Francois, A Jump in Cuba, 1996, Courtesy the artist and Ikon

Michel François: Pieces of evidence, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

Michel François is renowned for being a conceptual artist in the fields of sculpture, film, paintings, print and photography. His work illustrates the artists conviction that the meaning of art is determined through its combination with others in relation to an exhibition space. This exhibition, which will be running from 30 April until 22 June 2014, will be integrated throughout the whole Ikon Gallery.

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Arab Contemporary: Architecture, culture and identity

Arab Contemporary is the second in a series of exhibitions by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art focused on the integral connection between cultural identity and architectural design. The exhibition will attempt to draw out unifying themes within the broader cultural notion of an Arab world. In an area divided in religion, politics and landscape, Arab Contemporary examines the effects of architecture in expressing common themes and concerns.

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John Akomfrah, Phoebe Boswell, Rashaad Newsome: Carroll / Fletcher, London

A group exhibition, featuring work from John Akomfrah, Phoebe Boswell and Rashaad Newsome, will run from 7 March until 10 April at the Carroll / Fletcher gallery in Central London. Drawing on issues of identity, class, race and gender, these three artists explore the construction of identity on both a personal and cultural level, working in mixed mediums to tell their own narratives and those of the people around them.