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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.