This weekend Linder Sterling presented her UK premiere of The Ultimate Form, a physical collage that combined dance, costume, music and her provocative prints. Set in the gardens of The Hepworth Gallery, seven dancers from the Northern Ballet wound their way across the stage, demonstrating strength and poise in time to Stuart McCallum’s impressive score. Referred to as a “living collage”, Sterling’s works literally moved as they adorned Richard Nicoll’s carefully crafted costumes. Already presenting The Ultimate Form at her retrospective in Paris at the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris earlier this year, the performance will next appear at the Tate St Ives early in 2014.
The 2013 edition of Britain’s best-loved opera festival, Glyndebourne, opens in style on 18 May with a new production of Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. Directed by Katharina Thoma, and under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski in his final season as Glyndebourne’s Music Director, the production also sees many operatic talents making their Glyndebourne debuts. Mezzo soprano Kate Lindsey, who takes on the role of the Composer, is one such artist, and Aesthetica speaks to her about this exciting new experience and what audiences can expect.
Since 1988, Tate Liverpool has been the home of some of the world’s most important art works and attracted 15 million visitors. Opening its doors on 24 May, 1988, the gallery has become the most visited venue for modern and contemporary art outside of London. The gallery has already received several birthday wishes in the form of postcards, letters, emails and artworks, from Wayne Hemingway, Anthony McCall, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha, Bob and Roberta Smith, Zarina Bhimji and Colin Self. From 17 May until 2 June, Tate Liverpool will be celebrating in style with a specially curated exhibition entitled Tate Liverpool is 25.
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.
Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) continues an extensive programme of music, performances, and film screenings as part of Sharjah Biennial 11 (SB11), Re:emerge – Towards a New Cultural Cartography, which opened 13 March and will continue through 13 May. For SB11, Curator Yuko Hasegawa proposes a new cultural cartography that reconsiders the relationships between the Arab world, Asia, the Far East, through North Africa to Latin America.
Aesthetica Issue 52 is now out in the shops. Inside this issue, we start with Amalia Pica’s latest exhibition, which opens in April at MCA Chicago and is the artist’s first major solo museum show in the USA, including 15 of her most significant works. We also look at the Julio Le Parc retrospective on now at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, presenting a vast survey of the artist’s work from the 1950s to the present day. European Chronicles opens this May as part of Diffusion in Cardiff, which is Wales’ first international photography festival. NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star is the latest exhibition to open at the New Museum in New York City, capturing a specific moment at the intersection of art, pop culture and politics.
With four days off and weather that doesn’t compliment outdoor activities or picnics, art exhibitions are an obvious solution for Bank Holiday boredom. However, wherever you are in the world, the weekend is always a great time to leisurely explore local art exhibitions. From Amsterdam to New York we uncover the best in contemporary art in both Public and Private galleries across a variety of practices. Whether it be fandom at David Bowie Is… or destruction in Sara Cwynar’s Everything In the Studio (Destroyed) these shows provoke a range of responses.
Heidi Kilpeläinen, or HK119 as she is otherwise known, has a new album out on 25 March. Her third album, Imaginature embodies nature in a surrealist and spectacular recording of electronic chirps and howling lyrics. With each song named after an aspect of nature, Iceberg, Whale and Milky Way for example, Kilpeläinen was inspired by a holiday in her native Finland. Both an artist and a musician, she approaches her work under the identity HK119, a hyperreal character invented to front her performance-art pop project. Aesthetica speaks to Kilpeläinen about her work on Imaginature and the influence of the Finnish text, Kalevela, on the final work.
Lady Gaga famously refers to her followers as “little monsters”, presumably hoping by this to encourage them to reclaim the darker elements of their psyches and feel more comfortable in themselves. She is by no means the first popstar to have urged fans to embrace their idiosyncrasies, but she probably is the only one to have lived so devoutly by her own creed: dressing, acting and music-making like the mother of all pintsize monstrosities.
Fossil Collective are a Leeds-based band duo who next month launch their UK debut album tour. The duo is made up of multi-instrumentalists Jonny Hooker and David Fendick. To date they have released highly acclaimed EP’s On and On and Let It Go both of which have secured the bands must hear and must see status. This April they release their debut album Tell Where I Lie, we spoke to Jonny about the impending tour and what to expect from their album.
In the year of his 66th birthday, David Bowie is back at the centre of the public’s consciousness. To celebrate his birthday on 8 January, Bowie released a surprise single, Where Are We Now?, with the announcement of an album, The Next Day which was released 8 March. To add to this recent flurry of activity, the V&A opens David Bowie Is 23 March. With ticket sales that look to be record breaking before the exhibition even opens, David Bowie Is demonstrates Bowie’s ability to continually inspire and interest the general public. In Aesthetica Issue 51 we speak to gallery curator, Geoffrey Marsh about the work behind David Bowie Is and what it was that drew the V&A to exhibit this show.
British designer, Haroon Mirza opens his exhibition, Untitled Song, this Friday 8 March at mima, Middlesbrough. Living and working in London, Mirza’s influences range from electronics and science to avant-garde classical music. His primary interest is in creating sensory experiences with strange and startling sounds through a variety of new and old technologies, which in turn draws visitors to question their perceptions of the surrounding space.