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Stan Douglas: Luanda-Kinshasa at David Zwirner, New York

For Stan Douglas‘ 12 solo show at David Zwirner, the artist will debut a new film Luanda-Kinshasa on 9 January, marking the first time the artist has filmed on location in New York. The film is set in a reconstruction of the legendary Columbia 30th Street Studio, which was based in Midtown Manhattan and home to some of the most renowned musical recordings of the 20th century. Operated by Columbia Records between 1949 and 1981 in an abandoned Armenian church on East 30th Street, the studio was popular with artists working across all genres. Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue (1959), Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited (1965), and Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1979) were amongst the seminal records made at “The Church”. Other artists using the studio were Leonard Bernstein, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Glenn Gould, Billie Holiday, Vladimir Horowitz, and Charles Mingus, among many more, with musical genres ranging from classical to musicals, jazz, pop, and rock.

Siezure, (2008), Roger Hiorns. An Artangel commission. Photo by Marcus Leith.

Artangel Open – Deadline 28 February 2014

Artangel Open is inviting artists working in all media across the UK to submit bold, site-specific proposals that will transform and enrich the UK’s cultural landscape. Championing innovation and creativity is at the heart of this project; a £1 million initiative running in alliance with BBC Radio 4. Deadline for submissions is 28 February 2014.

The Making of The Correspondents’ Fear and Delight

The new single from The Correspondents, Fear and Delight, is out today via From Our Own. The release proceeds next year’s March launch of their debut album, Puppet Loosely Strung. The duo have become renowned for their live shows and have been included in The Telegraph’s “Top Ten Glastonbury Highlights” for the past two years. Producing alternative pop-fueled catchy anthems, Fear and Delight is a continuation of their unique sound. Take a look behind the scenes of their latest music video with exclusive footage.

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Art Basel Miami Beach Day Two

The second day of Art Basel Miami Beach is upon us and there are still hundreds of galleries to check out. Participants from Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa make up the impressive list of exhibitors at this year’s event. The different galleries present historical work from the masters of Modern and contemporary art, as well as newly created pieces by emerging stars. If you are unsure of what to see today, with such a vast selection on display, check out some of our recommended stands below.

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Issue 56 December / January Out Now

Issue 56 December / January of Aesthetica is in shops now! In this edition we consider the importance of reflecting upon the things you have done, as well as those you didn’t do and will go on to do in the future. We start with Hello, my name is Paul Smith, which is on now at the Design Museum, London, and looks at the art, fashion and creative ingenuity of one of Britain’s leading designers. We also examine The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945 at MOCAK in Krakow, Poland. At MoMA in New York, European art is also being showcased: Isa Genzken’s installations and sculptures are the subject of a massive retrospective, which surveys the layers of her work.

Interview with Paul Green, Director of the Halcyon Gallery, on Bob Dylan’s new sculpture exhibition, Mood Swings.

Bob Dylan, known more so for his poetry, music and writing, began introducing his artwork to the world with an exhibition of his Drawn Blank Series in 2007 at the Kunstsammlungen in Chemnitz, Germany. The exhibition included over 200 watercolours and gouache paintings made from original drawings. Within the last six years he has exhibited his drawings and paintings time and time again in some of the world’s most renowned museums and galleries such as the National Gallery of Denmark, the Gagosian Gallery in New York, Milan’s Palazzo Reale and last summer at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Now, Dylan exhibits his most recent sculptures at the Halcyon Gallery in London. The seven gates, glass-top tables and wall hangings made out of iron and vintage objects collected by Dylan resonates the death of industrial America. With this immaculate exhibition it is as if Dylan is returning back to his childhood town of Hibbing, Minnesota; the motto of which is “We’re Ore and More”. Since Dylan has decided not to give any interviews in relation to Mood Swings in order to let the work speak for itself, we had a interview with Paul Green, the Director of the Halcyon Gallery. 

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AV Festival 14: EXTRACTION, North East England, March 2014

AV Festival 14: EXTRACTION takes place 1-31 March 2014 at venues across the North East of England, including mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tyneside Cinema, NGCA (Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art), Star and Shadow Cinema, Laing Art Gallery and other spaces to be announced. A biennial event, the Festival is thematically curated to engage audiences with current ideas across contemporary art, film, music and wider society. This year’s event features new commissions, UK premieres, solo exhibitions, group shows, concerts and film screenings by international and nationally renowned artists.

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Review of All This Can Happen, by Siobhan Davies and David Hinton

All This Can Happen, a 50-minute film by David Hinton and choreographer Siobhan Davies, opens with images of men who cannot walk. One lies immobile in a hospital bed, his head trembling, eyes vacant with torment. Another, also institutionalised, tries to walk but fails. He falls, scrambles and falls again, his whole body stiff with malfunction.

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Issue 55 October/November Aesthetica Out Now

Issue 55 of Aesthetica is in shops now. This issue concentrates on redefinitions as a way of constructing new meaning. The artists featured expand across decades of contemporary practice, and the works included test the resilience of the artist. Inside we start with a look at Elmgreen & Dragset’s latest installation Tomorrow, which takes over the former Textile Galleries at the V&A, London. The artists have created an apartment belonging to a fictional, elderly and disillusioned architect to comment on the loneliness and alienation ever-present in today’s society.

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Interview with Rufio Summers

The Shoreditch Fashion Show returns again this autumn. Running on 12 October, the second show for 2013 follows the success of the first in April. Hosted by OffBeat, the event includes a dynamic guest programme showcasing the best in emerging UK fashion design, art and music. The audience will get an exclusive preview of designs from young designers from the world’s top fashion colleges, notably the London College of Fashion and Central St.Martins. Aesthetica speaks to one of the music acts, Rufio Summers, about his participation in the event and his dream collaborations.

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RECON Festival, Leeds and Bradford

RECON is a series of pioneering music, art and film events culminating 22 – 29 September across Leeds and Bradford. Bringing together  innovators, experimenters, risk-takers, mavericks and outsiders working creatively across the various genres, the event is a celebration of the expansion of boundaries in the artistic world. Including multiple sites and venues, activities will be held at The Brudenell Social Club, Howard Assembly Rooms, Hyde Park Picture House, The New Bradford Playhouse, Delius Arts and Cultural Centre, Wharf Chambers and also in the public domain.

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Body/Head, MCA Chicago

The co-founder and bassist of Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, returns to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) to perform as Body/Head, a project with free-noise guitarist Bill Nace. The duo began after Sonic Youth broke up in 2011 as an instrumental side project and now features scripted improvisation and songs with vocals by Gordon. Using a slow-motion film projection as their backdrop, the pair creates a dream-like narrative of guitar instrumentations, feedback, and vocals. The MCA Stage concert marks the Chicago debut of Body/Head and is part of a national tour to support the release of the band’s double album, Coming Apart, which came out 10 September. 

Interview with BAFTA award-winning sound recordist, Chris Watson

Chris Watson is one of the UK’s pre-eminent sound recordists. He has worked all over the globe and won a BAFTA in 2012 for his soundtrack on David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet series. This September, Watson’s exhibition Inside the Circle of Fire will transform Millenium Gallery, Sheffield, turning it into an immersive sound-map of the city, where the recordist grew up. Watson speaks to Aesthetica about his journey through Sheffield and his approach to sound.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Call for Entries Count Down 4 Days to Go – Hyung-Gyu Kim

Hyung-Gyu Kim was selected as one of last year’s finalists for the Aesthetica Art Prize, capturing the judges’ attention with his installation Chromaphone II that examines sound/colour associations from across the globe. Kim works through a range of methodologies, employing video, sculpture, sound and electronic components to forge hybrid memories and re-examine those once thought lost. Exhibiting in Japan, Korea and the USA, Kim’s Chromaphone II is the second in a series that explores the phenomenon of synesthesia, an experience of “seeing sounds” and “hearing colours.”

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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.