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Sensoria Festival 2013 , Sheffield

Sensoria features a unique, eclectic mix of film screenings, live music, exhibitions, installations and talks rolled out across four days across the city of Sheffield. Cinema highlights include Luc Besson’s The Big Blue, which is being screened on its 25th anniversary at a 1930′s outdoor pool in Hathersage. Whilst a car park will be re-imagined as a Drive In cinema, with coming of age classic American Graffiti on the big screen.

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A Journey Through London’s Subculture: 1980s to Now, ICA Off-Site

A Journey Through London’s Subculture: 1980s to Now at the Old Selfridges Hotel in London is part of the ICA’s Off-Site summer series, which started with Glastonbury Festival. The exhibition illustrates a perceived thread of creativity between the post-punk era and the present day – a legacy that underpins London’s incredible creative potential in the present. Taking over the first floor of the hotel, the project will bring together up to 60 influential figures from London’s creative scene from the 1980s to the present, spanning art, design, architecture, fashion, club culture and food. Participants include Tom Dixon, Zaha Hadid, Nicola Tyson, Bodymap, Sarah Lucas, Giles Deacon, Julie Verhoeven, Matthew Darbyshire, Louise Gray, SIBLING, David Waddington and Pablo Flack (Bistroteque), Bethan Laura Wood and Lucky PDF.

Frieze London 2013: Frieze Talks Announced

For this year’s Frieze London 2013, Frieze Talks will include: Jérôme Bel, Meredith Monk and Stephen Shore as part of the line up of international artists, filmmakers, curators and cultural commentators taking part in Frieze Talks 2013. Frieze Talks is a daily programme of lectures, conversations and panel debates that take place in the auditorium at Frieze London. The talks programme provides a forum to discuss some of the most pertinent issues in contemporary art and culture today. Presented by Frieze Foundation, Frieze Talks is programmed by the editors of frieze magazine, Jennifer Higgie, Jörg Heiser and Christy Lange.

Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, Bristol

This September Encounters returns to Bristol to showcase the very best of short film and animation from across the globe. Running 17-22 September, the event captures a snapshot of the most interesting emerging talent on the big screen. Including fiction, documentary, experimental works and music video, the featured films represent creativity across all genres.

Laura Buckley: The Magic Know-How, Site Gallery

Plunging audiences into a landscape of video and light, The Magic Know-How is Laura Buckley’s 3D sensory sound and light collage. Exhibited at Site Gallery, Sheffield from 10 August until 21 September, the work is constructed via the projection of film and light through prism-shaped large scale semi-transparent forms. At the centre of the project is Buckley’s idea that “cold technology retrieves a personal memory.”

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, V&A

The information available for the V&A’s latest exhibition, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s instantly inspires thoughts of the 2003 film Party Monster. Those who have seen it will remember that this riddling film is the true story of Michael Alig, a deluded Club Kid party organiser who moved to New York and entered a dark yet glamorous world. The 1980s was an incredibly creative decade in which the fashion of the club was slowly but surely carried onto the catwalk in the major capitals of the world. The many sub-cultures that formed and which still exist today, in some form or another, were founded on the basis of the nightlife in clubs. Curated by Claire Wilcox, V&A’s Head of Fashion, the exhibition covers the sub-cultures and their distinctive fashions, as well as the interpretations of now renowned fashion designers on the fashions of the club scene.

Interview with Steve Lake, Production at ECM Records

Selected Signs is a collection of six disks featuring the music that was selected for the ECM exhibition, ECM – A Cultural Archaeology, at Haus der Kunst in Munich at the start of the year. The exhibition surveyed the record company’s significant creative work in the worlds of music, graphic art and photography over the past 44 years. Released 1 July, the recordings on Selected Signs formed part of the exhibition where visitors could listen to the tracks on headphones. Aesthetica speaks to Steve Lake, Production and Licensing at ECM Records, about the exhibition and his personal enjoyment of the album.

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Aesthetica Short Film Festival at V&A Friday Late

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is a celebration of independent film from across the world, and an outlet for championing and supporting short filmmaking. This Friday (26 July) a special programme of films from the 2012 festival will be screened at the V&A, London, for the Friday Late event. Themed around Peckham, the event this evening is part of a series of Friday Lates that will invite London’s creative communities to take over the Museum for an evening, presenting a range of music, art, design, film, architecture and more.

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Project Space: Word. Sound. Power. at Tate Modern, London

Tate Modern opens a new group exhibition in its Project Space about the relationship between language and power on 12 July. Word. Sound. Power. is the result of a curatorial collaboration between Tate Modern in London and Khoj International Artists’ Association in New Delhi, who will take the exhibition in early 2014. Opening in London on 12 July, the show brings together eight emerging and established international artists, including new and specially commissioned works.

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Review of PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Costume Institute at the MetropolitanMuseum of Art, New York

Punk was an attitude and an aesthetic, a movement which provoked anti-establishment with exhibitionist flair. According to John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), “Punk was like nothing anybody had seen before, like nothing. Punk was fearless. Utterly fearless.” With this fearlessness came its unabashed fashions, its intended chaos of cut-offs and chains which has been captured and appropriated by high-end designers into relics of couture. PUNK: Chaos to Couture, at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nods to the birthplaces of punk before progressing through a series of four Do-it-yourself themes of punk fashion.  

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Blondiefest: One Way or Another at ICA, London

Curated by Tom Wilcox, Associate Curator at ICA and Hanna Hanra, Editor in Chief of BEAT Magazine, Blondiefest: One Way or Another opens at ICA on 5 July and surveys and celebrates the cultural legacy of Blondie and their iconic frontwoman Debbie Harry. As one of the greatest bands to ever come out of New York, Debbie Harry and the band define their epoch – their records and image are synonymous with their time and place. Their beginnings were in New York’s mid-’70s punk and new-wave scenes, but by the late ’70s and early ’80s their eclectic musical style, compelling rhythms and seductive pop melodies had propelled them from the fringes to the mainstream.

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Review of Sixto Rodriguez at the Hammersmith Apollo, London

The 66th British Academy Film Awards ceremony on February 10, 2013 announced Searching for Sugar Man as the Best Documentary of the Year. It is a touching and highly-emotional documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul about the search for the man famed for his song Sugar Man. Sixto Rodriguez, now 70, is the personification of a kind, hard-working, politically aware, brilliant song writer. He only produced two albums (Cold Fact (1970) and Coming from Reality (1971)) but his personality conquered the hearts of South Africans during the socially and politically difficult apartheid years, Cold Fact in particular. The album became a political and social testimony of the people; it vocalised their struggles and burdens in a way no other album of the time did.

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Review of Ute Lemper, London

Ute Lemper is a world-renowned and charismatic German chanteuse who never seems to age (physically or spiritually). As part of the London Literature Festival Ute Lemper Sings Pablo Neruda organised by the Southbank Centre was a fantastic concert not only dedicated to the memory of Pablo Neruda, one of the masters of Chilean poetry, but also to the memory of everything that music and poetry seems to have lost in the transition to the fast paced, ruthless, popular entertainment industry.

10 to See: Degree Shows

At Aesthetica we like to keep an eye on emerging artists, and one of the best ways to do that is to take note of the numerous degree shows open this summer. Picking our ten favourites, we count down the best art presentations this June. We also take a moment to interview a few successful graduates, to investigate the value of an art degree and the benefits of their chosen Universities. Running from Glasgow to Plymouth, we give you a snippet into each show. Keep an eye on the blog for interviews with graduates in the next few weeks.

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Aesthetica Issue 54, June/July Out Now

We are living in interesting times. The past five years have seen a dramatic shift in our attitudes and behaviour, however I have recently noticed an undercurrent of optimism. I am excited by this, and it can be seen in new works by a range of artists. I pose a question: is the age of doom and gloom over? I think so.

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Interview with Chapel Club

Chapel Club, a Synthpop band from London has just released their second album Good Together and begin their UK tour on 3 June at The Temple in Birmingham. Comprising of Lewis Bowman, Rich Mitchell, Liam Arklie, Michael Hibbert and Alex Parry, they combine electronically produced notes with echoing vocals, which resonates to create mesmerising sounds with intimate lyrics. Aesthetica spoke to Chapel Club to find out more about their influences and what we can expect to hear from them in the future.

53rd Krakow Film Festival

Opening on the 26 May, the 53rd Krakow Film Festival includes the screenings of documentaries, short films and animations from all over the world. With an outstanding programme of events, the festival will run until 2 of June. This year, in addition to the previously established sections, there will be DocFilmMusic, a competition open to music documentaries. With ten qualifying films,  the director of the best film will win a Grand Prix award – The Golden Heynal.  The usual categories are  the international documentary competition, the international competition of short films and the national competition. 

Linder Sterling: The Ultimate Form, Wakefield

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.

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Interview with Kate Lindsey of Ariadne auf Naxos

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.

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Tate Liverpool is 25

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.

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Review of Bowie Is, London

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.

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Sharjah Biennial 11 Programme of Music, Performance, and Film Continues into May

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.

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Aesthetica April/May Out Now

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.

6 To See this Bank Holiday Weekend

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.

Interview with Heidi Kilpeläinen, HK119

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, IcebergWhale 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.

Arrrgh! Monsters in Fashion at Gaite Lyrique, Paris

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.

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Interview with Fossil Collective

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. 

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David Bowie Is, V&A, London

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.

Haroon Mirza: Untitled Song, Middlesbrough

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.

Linder: Femme/Objet, Paris

Four decades worth of British punk feminist work are presented in Linder Sterling’s Paris retrospective. Photography, collage, music and video works have been assembled under the exhibition title Femme/Objet, a troubling conflation of woman and commodity that lies, subverted for positive ends, at the heart of Linder’s practice: “I have always treated myself as a found object”, she says.

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Interview with Tullycraft, new album out March

US band Tullycraft will release their new record Lost in Light Rotation this March. Following their 2007 release Every Scene Needs  A Center, their new album is produced by Phil Ek (The Shins, Band of Horses, Built to Spill, The Halo Benders, The Shout Out Louds, Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen). Aesthetica speaks to the band about the new album, their relationship with Ek and their future plans.

Review of ECM: A Cultural Archaeology at Haus der Kunst, Munich

Munich’s commanding Haus der Kunst provided a suitably grand backdrop for the recent, admirably comprehensive survey of ECM Records’ trailblazing work over the past 44 years. The gallery, like the label’s prodigious output, impresses first through its sheer size and scale, then further exploration reveals hidden treasures around every conceivable corner. It’s a clever marriage of site and subject, made even more special a celebration as Munich is ECM’s home city.

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Review of Ólöf Arnalds New Album Sudden Elevation

Sudden Elevation will be relished both by admirers of Ólöf Arnalds’s crystalline voice, and by devotees of the Nordic modern-folk music associated with fellow Icelandic musicians Björk and Sigur Rós. The multi-instrumentalist’s new release follows her acclaimed second album Innundi Skinni (2010), which caught the attention of critics at Q magazine and earned her recognition from Mojo as one of their “most exciting people” of the year. As the first of her albums to be sung entirely in English, Sudden Elevation marks a change in the singer’s creative direction and will, undoubtedly, provide an impetus for wider appreciation. It is also her first experiment in creating a conceptually unified record: she worked on it without interruption, holed up in a seaside cabin in western Iceland.

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Aesthetica Issue 51 Out Now

Inside this issue, we start with Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, a major exhibition opening at the Walker Art Center that features 35 individual sculptures and installations, along with his recent experiments in video, film and performance. We also look at the latest show to open at the Hayward Gallery, London, Light Show, which is a comprehensive survey of artists who use light as a material. David Bowie is opens at the V&A and is the first major retrospective of Bowie’s significant impact upon the world of visual art and design. Thomas Zanon-Larcher’s Falling: A Part blurs the lines between fashion and fine art photography, using cinema as its reference point. In photography, Garry Winogrand is widely recognised as one of America’s finest photographers, and his retrospective opens at SFMOMA, highlighting 25 years of the artist’s career. Cuba is the subject for the latest exhibition to open at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, which showcases four decades of Michael Eastman’s work. We also introduce the works of Marquis Montes, a Montreal-based photographic duo, as well as Kevin Cooley, whose use of light creates intense drama.

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Joy Division’s Peter Hook and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon at MCA Chicago

Joy Division’s bass guitarist Peter Hook is in artist conversation at the MCA on Tuesday 5 February. Reflecting on the band he helped co-found and his new book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. Covering the band’s friendships and fallouts, their rehearsals and recording sessions, Hook gives a truly fascinating insight, as only an insider can, into the larger-than-life characters that formed a vital part of the Joy Division legend. The conversation is led by Joe Shanahan who booked Peter Hook (with New Order) for their first Chicago appearance at The Metro 30 years ago.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at Sadler’s Wells, London

Matthew Bourne’s haunting new production at Sadler’s Wells is a gothic romance; a supernatural love story that even the passage of time cannot hinder. Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty sees the choreographer return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of the composer’s ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit Swan Lake.

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Aesthetica Celebrates its 10th Anniversary Out Now

This December, Aesthetica Magazine – one of the most recognised and important art and culture publications both in the UK and internationally – celebrates its 10th anniversary with a spectacular 50th issue, available worldwide from 1 December. Founded in 2002 by Cherie Federico and Dale Donley when both were university students, the publication has achieved a remarkable feat, growing in stature and readership through one of the most challenging economic periods in recent history. A major success story for publishing, it has the distinction of being the only British art magazine to start and be sustained within the past decade.

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New Issue: Aesthetica October/November Out Now

The latest issue of Aesthetica has hit the shelves. It starts with William Klein + Daido Moriyama, opening this October at Tate Modern, which juxtaposes both photographers’ works and explores modern and urban life in New York and Tokyo. We also take a closer look at the work of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, whose show Bivouac opens this autumn at MCA Chicago. Tim Walker presents a breathtakingly surreal exhibition, Story Teller at London’s Somerset House, which combines the worlds of conceptual art and fashion photography. M to M of M/M (Paris) is a survey of one of the most influential and emblematic design practices and art partnerships in the 21st century. The Serial Portrait opens this autumn and explores the practice of taking multiple portraits of the same subjects. Six Lines of Flight runs at SFMOMA, and features key artists from around the world who have developed unique artistic organisations in six different cities that have become burgeoning artistic centres. Nadav Kander travelled the full distance of the Yangtze River, capturing the changing face of China. Finally, we introduce Formento & Formento, whose works construct a powerful cinematic narrative.

Alpha-Ville Screening and Alpha-Ville Live, London

Alpha-Ville 2012 is opening this weekend on Saturday October 6. Presenting to their guests both Alpha-Ville Live and Alpha-Ville Screening, this London based organisation are dedicated to the promotion of digitial culture through their annual festival and wider activies. As their subtitle suggests, ART, CREATIVE TECH, MUSIC, WEB CULTURE, the weekend seeks to explore all types of digital art.

The Nour Festival of Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African Arts and Culture, London

The Nour Festival will be celebrating contemporary arts and culture from across the Middle East and North Africa, starting on the 1st of October and running until the 1st of December. It will be a borough-wide event based in Kensington and Chelsea and will take place at venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre and the Mosaic Rooms.