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RSA Annual Exhibition , Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture

The RSA Annual Exhibition is a focal point of the Royal Scottish Academy’s programme, showcasing work from RSA Academicians the length and breadth of Scotland. Now in its 188th year, it continues to provide a platform for contemporary paintings, sculpture, film, printmaking, photography and installation alongside work by some of the country’s leading architects.

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Bill Viola: Passions, Kunstmuseum Bern

American artist Bill Viola is one of the leading international artists working in video art. For more than 30 years, Viola has been experimenting with video tapes, video installations, sound environments, electronic-music performances and TV productions. In both 1995 and 2007, the artist appeared at the Venice Biennial to much acclaim. However, since his first solo exhibition in 1993 at the Musée des Beaux-Arts Lausanne, his work has only been shown in group exhibitions in Switzerland. This April an extensive overview of his practice, Passions, appears at Kunstmuseum Bern and runs until 20 July. 

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Review of Mark Titchner, CGP London

About a decade ago, it seemed Mark Titchner was popping up in every high-profile group show in London, and this exposure naturally led to his Turner Prize nomination in 2006. He didn’t win, but his popularity remains high, bolstered by UK and international shows.

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5 To See This Weekend

In addition to Aesthetica’s very own Art Prize Exhibition at York St Mary’s, York, there’s a number of wonderful art shows on display this weekend. If you’re near York, you can catch some of the most exciting emerging talents and trends in contemporary art today and if you’re elsewhere, you can be bewildered by Tobias Rehberger’s overwhelming installations in Frankfurt. At London’s Thomas Dane Gallery, Abraham Cruzvillegas destroys entire movements, while in Sheffield Wu Chi-Tsung creates entire cities from mere shadows. Wherever you are, make sure you see something this weekend.

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Science Fiction: New Death at FACT, Liverpool

What does “science fiction” mean in the 21st century? A traditional definition is that it is writing, or other artistic works, that presuppose a technology, or an effect of technology, such as humanity has not yet experienced. However, over the years, the genre has come to be represented by distinctive tropes and visual hallmarks, even when they are more closely associated with eras of the past – think of the monochrome screens in the film Alien from 1979, or how The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, due to the TV adaptation of 1981, is more synonymous with flared trousers than intergalactic space travel.

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Review of Laure Prouvost: For Forgetting, New Museum, New York

Visiting the New Museum’s lobby exhibition For Forgetting, a multimedia installation by artist Laure Prouvost, should not be done on an evening when the lobby also hosts a live band. Aside from the challenge in hearing the exhibition’s video installation, her film, Making Money Religiously, was well worth the concentration and effort.

Interview with Fashion Photographer and Filmmaker Kourtney Roy

Kourtney Roy’s striking fashion photography is currently on the cover of Aesthetica. Roy began her career with the intention of becoming a painter. However, after taking a photography course she quickly found a passion for the instantaneous nature of this art form, enjoying being able to immediately capture a scene as it was unfolding. The photographer was born in Ontario, Canada and now lives in France, and her images draw on a large selection of artists such as Jeff Wall, Guy Bourdin, Stephen Shore and Francis Bacon. This year the Aesthetica Short Film Festival launches a Fashion Film strand and Roy has also produced a number of these glamorous short films. She speaks to us about her narrative construction and the benefits of fashion film.

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Review of Art Paris Art Fair 2014

This year at the Art Paris Art Fair there was a dizzyingly fascinating gathering of art galleries from around the world. China was the guest of honour, after Russia last year. In front of the Grand Palais entrance to the art fair lay a rusting metal fist larger than a man: its tantalisingly paradoxical political image suggested both oppressive power and the severing of that power from the arm that propels it.

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Bill Viola Retrospective at Grand Palais. Paris

“I was born at the same time as video” – a viewer reads a memo in a dark labyrinth of the first retrospective of American video artist Bill Viola. Recently opened at the Grand Palais until 21 July, it shows off twenty works and is the first video art exhibition at the National Galleries. The retrospective revolves around three open philosophical questions: Who am I? Where am I? Where am I going? The experience of going to the exhibition visit is conceived as a journey, however, the artworks, as precious artifacts, are not called to give the answers, but to pose the questions.

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Interview with Oberhausen Curator Mika Taanila

One of the main programmes for the 60th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (1 to 6 May 2014), entitled Memories Can’t Wait – Film without Film, will bring together works that take place in a cinema but play with the normal viewing situation. Many of these works move away from the traditional moving image projection. So what happens in the cinema when the key element of the movie-going experience – the film itself – is taken away, when the screen is blank, when memories are evoked or “impossible films” presented? In one of the most extensive programme of “filmless films” so far, Oberhausen will present over 30 historical and new pieces that explore this question. Film without Film is curated by Mika Taanila, one of the most renowned contemporary Finnish artists and filmmakers. We speak to Taanila about his latest project.

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Miroslaw Balka: DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 25,31m AMSL, White Cube Gallery, Mason’s Yard

Since the 10th Unilever Turbine Hall commission at Tate Modern back in 2009, this is Miroslaw Balka’s first solo show with new works in London and his fourth at White Cube gallery. Titled DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 25,31m AMSL after Sigmund Freud’s book The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), the Mason’s Yard exhibition runs with another parallel exhibition of the Polish artist at the Freud Museum in Northwest London, DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 75,32m AMSL. The accompanying numerals in both titles refer to the altitude (height above sea level) of each venue respectively.

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5 To See This Weekend

This April there are a number of outstanding art exhibitions on display across the world, and we take a look at the best shows open this weekend. Munich’s Haus der Kunst focuses on the wide-ranging works of Ellen Gallagher, while the city gates open in Glasgow for the start of the sixth international festival. Catch the first weekend of the Saatchi Gallery’s re-joining of Africa and Latin America in Pangaea, or follow the themes of social unrest with Welcome to Iraq at South London Gallery, and across the Atlantic there’s SFMOMA’s Public Intimacy, a revelation of the politics entwined in the everyday of South Africa.

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Winners of the Aesthetica Art Prize Announced

German artist Sybille Neumeyer was announced as the winner of the Main Prize for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 at the exhibition preview last night. Her stunning light installation Song for the Last Queen (2013) is comprised of 7,614 bees – one eighth of the colony – that were collected from a naturally collapsed bee hive and placed as a rhythm of black spots in honey creating a silent score.

Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Shortlisted Artists

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition opens this week on 3 April at York St Mary’s, York. Celebrating innovative and outstanding artworks, the display features shortlisted pieces from artists in the following categories: Photographic and Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design and Sculpture; Painting and Drawing, and Video, Installation and Performance. The presentation highlights artistic talent from locations including Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Chile and the UK. We take a closer look at the eight selected individuals.

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Aesthetica Issue 58 April/May Out Now

Aesthetica Issue 58 April/May is now available online and in stores. We are at a particularly good time for artistic output. It’s not a coincidence that this reflects the extraordinary things that are happening in the world. The first 14 years of this millennium have progressed so exponentially, it’s simply staggering. It’s a moment of reflection, but also one of anticipation; the artists of today are helping us to make sense of it all.

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Video Artist Julia Weißenberg: Shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, York St Mary’s

Video artist Julia Weißenberg is one of eight finalists selected for exhibition in the Aesthetica Art Prize show, taking place at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space, in partnership with York Museums Trust, from 4 April – 22 June.

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5 To See This Weekend

This weekend offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the best of contemporary art. The Biennale of Sydney and Art Paris Art Fair bring together fascinating and varied selections, while exhibitions at the Camden Arts Centre, Timothy Taylor Gallery and Ffotogallery showcase the impressive work of individual artists. The photography of Paul Reas and paintings of Alex Katz use bold colour to create striking images of their societies, while the delicate beauty of SIlke Otto-Knapp’s art creates a dreamy state inspired by dance and performance. Here is our selection of this weekend’s best exhibitions.

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Art Paris Art Fair, 27 – 30 March

Art Paris Art Fair opens today at the Grand Palais in a celebration of contemporary and modern art. Running 27 – 30 March, the fair gathers 144 galleries from around 20 countries, offering guests the chance to revel in art that spans sculpture, photography, painting, design and art books. This year, China is the the guest of honour and the fair aims to uncover new art scenes and talents from the area. Young galleries are also highlighted in the Promises section, looking at the emerging art industry across the globe. A variety of strands join together to make a unique art fair, one that seeks to discover new visions of art.

Sydney Biennale: You Imagine What You Desire

You Imagine What You Desire is a fitting title for Sydney’s 19th Biennale running until 9 June. Spread across five venues – which span the width of the city and includes an island in the middle of Sydney Harbour – the programme forces audiences to slowly absorb the ideas, beauty and creative energy of each venue’s work. This year’s Biennale doesn’t have a didactic theme but simply aims to activate audiences’ desires.

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Interview with Video Artist Clara Aparicio Yoldi, Longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize

The Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 opens its new ground-breaking exhibition this spring, showcasing the very best of emerging talent in contemporary art internationally. Managed by Aesthetica Magazine in partnership with York Museums Trust, the exhibition will take place from 4 April to 22 June at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space.

Review of Yoko Ono: Half-a-Wind Show, Guggenheim Bilbao

Described by John Lennon as the world’s most famous unknown artist, Yoko Ono has spent a lifetime living in the shadow of her famous marriage and her revered late husband. Half-A-Wind Show, an epic retrospective visiting the Guggenheim Bilbao, is the chance to allow her the recognition she deserves…

Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition: 4 April – 22 June 2014, York

The Aesthetica Art Prize returns this spring with new and inspiring artworks that discuss some of the most poignant issues of our times. Critically acclaimed by the art world and loved by visitors in 2013, the Aesthetica Art Prize is set to become one of the key events in the UK for engaging with new talent.

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5 To See This Weekend

With so much exciting contemporary art on show, make sure to factor a gallery visit into your weekend plans. Explore the delicate beauty of Jim Hodges’ work in Minneapolis, David Hepher’s striking landscapes in London, juxtaposing urban and country life, or the fascinating conceptual career of the iconic Yoko Ono in Bilbao. Here are our pick of the top five exhibitions to see this weekend.

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Interview with Artist Erika Vogt

Erika Vogt’s Speech Mesh – Drawn OFF is currently on display at The Hepworth Wakefield’s contemporary art space, The Calder. Comprised of a number of sculptures and videos, the exhibition is Vogt’s first UK show. At the centre of the artist’s work is an interest in the physical process of creating images and objects and she draws on her background as an experimental filmmaker to produce multi-layered environments. Aesthetica speaks to Vogt about the unique name of the exhibition and her approach to The Calder’s space.

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Personal Choice: Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow

Personal Choice: Collectors’ selections from their own collections is Moscow-based Garage Center for Contemporary Culture’s exhibition about the collector of high end contemporary art who is Russian. While the exhibition is about the construction of the contemporary medium of Russian art collecting, it is also necessarily about the influence of international art collecting standards. While many of the artists in the exhibition are Russian, many are not, and those who are often work or worked outside of Russia.

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.

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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.

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Jennifer Steinkamp, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

Steinkamp is an artist who has been heavily based in the digital media and a pioneer in the world of 3-D animation. Steinkamp’s digitally rendered animations of natural phenomena and movement are projected within the depicted architectural surroundings. This is the artist’s first exhibition in Japan’s capital city. Not only will this exhibition be new for Hong Kong, but it will always feature two new works, which will be on view until 22 March at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Hong Kong.

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Trisha Baga, Zabludowicz Collection, London

Work by New York-based artist, Trisha Baga, goes on display for the first time in a non-commercial gallery in England at Zabludowicz Collection this February. From 27 February until 11  May the gallery space will house a number of new installations alongside existing works from the Collection. The show will unfold around the dramatic architecture of the Collection’s north London home in a unique sensory experience.

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Yorkshire Festival, 2014

In the 100 days preceding 5 and 6 July, when Yorkshire plays host to the Grand Départ, 47 cultural events will take place across the county backed by Welcome to Yorkshire, Yorkshire Water and the Arts Council England.