Cuban art collective, Los Carpinteros is formed of duo Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez who create humorous installations and sculptures which point towards whimsy yet really probe into politics, conveying their own political viewpoints. In alluding to playful comedy, the two are able to criticise without intimidating audiences or alienating the viewer – creating an accessible platform from which they can be heard.
The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world. The annual award offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world. To mark its current call for entries, we shine a spotlight on longlisted artist Annina Roescheisen. Selected for her film What are you Fishing for? (2014), Roescheisen describes herself as a multimedia practitioner who looks to iconographies from the past for inspiration.
Art Brussels returns for its 33rd year this April. As in previous years, galleries will be presented in different sections, with the addition of DISCOVERY, which will feature 14 galleries who represent lesser-known and emerging artists that have yet to find exposure in Europe. Ahead of the opening, we speak to artistic director Katerina Gregos about her favourite parts of this year’s fair and her work with not-for-profit spaces.
Wales is presenting its first solo exhibition by a female artist at the Venice Biennale this year. The Arts Council of Wales has selected Helen Sear to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice at the 56th International Art Exhibition. Curated by Ffotogallery, …the rest is smoke will feature works which connect the local landscapes of Wales to the context of the Biennale. Sear is widely regarded as one of Wales’ most significant contemporary artists, having lived and worked there since 1984. Her body of work explores the crossing of boundaries between photography and fine art, and she was joint winner of the visual art prize at the National Eisteddfod in 2011.
Our 5 To See This Weekend features some of the top exhibitions currently on display around the world. From The Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, which celebrates more than 30 international artists redefining “the image of woman” during that period, to Magda Biernat’s tranquil Adrift photography series on display at the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston. Our 5 To See This Weekend is our guide to the best exhibitions on offer right now.
Fotomuseum Winterthur launches its new exhibition programme titled SITUATIONS. This innovative platform offers a unique perspective on photographic culture in the digital age. Promoting itself as a new exhibition format, SITUATIONS challenges the boundaries of artistic interaction in the physical realm through an integration of the real with the virtual.
This year Art Paris Art Fair showcased Asian art, once again demonstrating how inventive and abundant the art scene in Asia still is. Of all the artists represented, Korean artists were the most eye-catching. Galerie Géraldine Banier hosted artists like the Korean Jung Min Choi whose wire sculptures added a delicate note of poetry. With its wire spider hanging above orange-tipped wire flowers, his Hommage à Louise is intended as a miniature, non-macabre nod to Louise Bourgeois.
Vera Drebusch has been shortlisted in this year’s Aesthetica Art Prize. Her performance pieces Preservation and Chocolates can be seen in the Art Prize exhibition, currently on display at York St Mary’s. Something as simple as a jar of jam or a box of chocolates can become entangled in questions of political and environmental conflict.
Dark shadows, contrasting colours, smooth and ruptured textures fill the works created by artist Andrew Browne (b. 1960) in his latest series Glimpse, which is currently on display at Martin Browne Contemporary. Glimpse showcases a selection of Brown’s work, which at first appears to be hyperreal photographic snapshots that are in fact oil paintings of recognisable natural scenes. Components within the works appear slightly out of place suggestive of a resistance towards the surrounding environment.
HOME is an international centre for contemporary visual arts, theatre and film, whose opening programme features new commissions and international collaborations as well as off-site and interdisciplinary productions that represent a new and dynamic force in the UK’s arts scene and beyond.
Presented by Ikon and Nuova Icona, the Oratorio di San Ludovico will be home to a new video and performance project by emerging artist Nástio Mosquito. Mosquito, recently awarded the Future Generation Art Prize, comes from a career rooted in the broadcast industry, having previously worked as a cameraman and director. Born in Angola, educated in Portugal, and currently located in Belgium, the artist has an excellent world view, which comes through fantastically in his exciting and irreverent installations.
The fifth edition of the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is currently open for submissions. The festival champions artists’ filmmaking, with strands in artists’ film, experimental, documentary and dance, and last year ASFF welcomed Steven Bode, Director of Film and Video Umbrella and Maggie Ellis, Head of Film London’s Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), among other leading art professionals to share their expertise with filmmakers and audiences through masterclasses and hosted networking sessions.
Maze is an immersive new performance presented by Jasmin Vardimon Company and Turner Contemporary. Choreographed by critically-acclaimed director Jasmin Vardimon, with collaboration from Ron Arad and artist Guy Bar-Amotz, the piece is an immersive performance that asks audiences to choose a “light” or “dark” path. We speak to Vardimon about her approach to the creation of the work and her interest in the individual observer.
Taking its title from the Gaelic word for craving and desire, Miann is Fleur Darkin’s first full-length work as artistic director at Scottish Dance Theatre. A powerful piece about grief and loss, the performance will be appear at Southbank Centre, London, 9 April, after which it will travel to Tramway, Glasgow, in May. Hugely popular at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Made in Scotland showcase in 2014, Miann highlights Darkin’s tactile choreography.
This spring, a series of free lunchtime talks from leading art figures including curators and artists will run alongside the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition at York St Mary’s, presenting an unique opportunity to hear directly from industry leaders. Speakers include John Keane, Winner of the Main Prize, who will begin the series on 9 April with a discussion of his practice and, specifically, the four paintings from the Fear series selected for this exhibition. Other speakers include Dr Sam Lackey, Curator at The Hepworth Wakefield; Sarah Perks, Artistic Director (Visual Art) HOME; and Marcus Lyon, Aesthetica Art Prize shortlisted artist.
The future can only be imagined by looking back towards the past. In Aesthetica Issue 64 we look for a frame of reference to start from, to unpick, to tease out and then create something entirely new. For example, there would be no digital without analogue and certainly no progress without retrospection. We truly believe that you have to experiment and gather a wide range of influences in order to innovate.
For the 35th edition of The AIPAD Photography Show, 89 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries will present a wide range of museum-quality work, including contemporary, modern, and 19th century photographs as well as photo-based art, video, and new media.
The fifth edition of the Milan Image Art Fair, dedicated to photography, will open in the new location of Porta Nuova Varesine this April. The event will take place in The Mall, a centre nestled among the skyscrapers that have changed the city skyline, which has become a symbol of the new Milan. A section on the main themes of Expo 2015 will be presented as part of the fair. This year sees the richest and most wide-ranging edition of MIA Fair with an anticipated 145 exhibitors and a broad cultural programme, all directed by Fabio Castelli.
Sadlers Wells has always celebrated innovation in dance and their new Wild Card series is the latest expression of their commitment to upcoming dance talent. Specially curated by the next generation of dance masters, Wild Card is an opportunity for a dancer, choreographer or producer to take the reins and present a selection of exciting work for the Sadlers Wells’ audience.
Today marks the exhibition preview of the Aesthetica Art Prize 2015, with the show opening to the public from 10am tomorrow. Taking place in the historic setting of York St Mary’s, the exhibition champions excellence in contemporary art from around the world. The eight artists selected for exhibition hail from Japan, Germany, Australia and the UK, and were chosen from over 3,500 submissions from 60 countries worldwide.
Christian Fennesz, Austrian electronic producer and musician, teamed up with Lillevan, German video artist and performer to celebrate the work of fellow Austrian Gustav Mahler. This weekend the duo transformed Mahler’s music with unique electronic compositions at the Howard Assembly Room, Opera North, Leeds. The beautiful and evocative piece used Mahler’s symphonies as its starting point, giving it new life as contemporary performance. Fennesz speaks to Aesthetica about his work with Lillevan and the process of producing this arresting new piece of music.
In 2011 Kunsthalle Mannheim celebrated Bruce Nauman’s 70th birthday with a retrospective examining the artist’s fascinating body of work. Now, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris presents Nauman’s first major solo show in France in over 15 years. To coincide with this new exhibition, Aesthetica delves into its archive and reflects on a feature article from Issue 41.
140 galleries from 20 countries will converge at Paris’ colossal Grand Palais for an art fair focusing on new discoveries, including a plethora of modern and contemporary art forms as well as design, photography and art books.
Four of the UK’s leading galleries will host new works by 30 of the most talented emerging artists as part of the New Art West Midlands 2015 fair. All of the artists presented at the event have graduated from one of the region’s fine art degree courses in the past three years. A collaboration of five universities and four galleries, NAWM is the largest partnership of its kind in the country and the exhibition offers the exciting opportunity for postgraduate artists to exhibit their work alongside collections of national significance.
Pronoia: Paranoia In reverse, an exhibition curated by Sophie Nibbs, at 12 Felstead Street, London, threw up all sorts of questions. The various works provoked the audience to consider the pressure to constantly pursue happiness, despite depressing economic realities, the way American mantras of positive thinking have infiltrated UK culture, how governments are measuring growth in terms of happiness (rather than GDP) and if unhappiness could be a new form of dissent. In a world where aspiration and positivity are sacrosanct, the idea that pursuing happiness might be self-destructive seems kind of taboo.
Conceptual artist Denys Blacker has been longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2015. Living and working in Spain, Blacker uses performance, sculpture and drawing to explore themes of symmetry and precision. Her selected piece The Noble Gases will appear in the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition and anthology later this month. A series of seven performances for camera, The Noble Gases is based on Blacker’s research into the Periodic Table.
Northern Ballet is known for its lyrical and expressive narration of stories. Previously visiting the classic tales of Cinderella, A Christmas Carol and Romeo and Juliet, the company transforms Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Based on the central characters, Cathy and Heathcliff, the story is a wild and unruly romance. Opening 18 March at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield, the performance tours to Southampton, Milton Keynes, Canterbury and Bradford. We speak to dancer Kiara Flavin, who plays Young Cathy, about her physical interpretation of Brontë’s complex language.
Art Fair Tokyo returns this spring, running 20-22 March. The event enters into its 10th year and to celebrate this milestone event graphic designer Masayoshi Kodaira has produced the visuals for the fair, creating a “window” to look at the future of Tokyo. With just five years until the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the design invites people to re-examine their perception of Tokyo in anticipation of this sporting and cultural event.
Cornelia Parker (b. 1956) is a British sculptor and installation artist who is interested in the potential of materials. In 2013, Aesthetica spoke to Parker about her involvement with Glasstress: White Light / White Heat, as one of 65 artists challenged to work with glass. The show ran at two different locations in London: London College of Fashion’s Fashion Space Gallery and The Wallace Collection. Now, the artist’s signature piece Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991) can be viewed at The Whitworth in Manchester.
Exhibit Be is an artistic endeavour of epic proportions. Helmed by artist and film-maker Brandan “BMike” Odums, with logistical support from freelance editor and web-content creator Lydia Nichols and arts and museum curator Lana Meyon, it is an ode to how art disturbs the waters of our contentment without cornering us with guilt. Located in Algiers, a quiet suburb of New Orleans across the Mississippi river from the downtown core, Exhibit Be, a collaboration of 30 plus artists, transformed the abandoned Woodlands Apartment Complex, a five building, five-story apartment complex, into a giant street art installation.
The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences. Now in its eighth year, the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition and anthology unites a dynamic selection of emerging and established international practitioners. This year’s longlist of artists includes Chilean-born practitioner Carolina Redondo.
Since 2011 Sky Academy Arts Scholarships (previously Sky Arts Futures Fund) have supported five promising artists under 30 annually with a £30,000 bursary and mentoring opportunities. The Scholarships aim to release the financial and second-job shackles of life as a young artist and provide an opportunity for each to take their practice to the next level with the help of dedicated mentors in their field. Last year’s Scholars were visual artist James Lomax, dancer and choreographer Eleesha Drennan, theatre designer David Shearing, jazz drummer and composer Ollie Howell and creative producer Tom Mcdonagh.
Grace Schwindt’s Only a free individual can create a free society is a captivating feature-length film installation currently in place at Site Gallery, Sheffield. Running until 28 February, the piece has been co-commissioned by the gallery and explores the radical left-wing politics of Germany in the 1960s-1970s. Within the gallery, the set was simplistic – a single road mapped out in black material, with white either side of it, set against the distinctive backdrop of a city skyline. The words of the feature were spoken in unison by no more than a handful of actors dressed in lavish and bizarre costume. At times, it seemed to channel a shared consciousness of society, yet, at others, a mere singular voice. The collective vs. the individual played throughout the show, which examined a foreign society to our own. The chant itself sounded magical, as though it were a séance, and now and then a new character would speak once again.
The Tell-Tale Heart, a group exhibition curated by Pilar Corrias (London), Leo Xu Projects (Shanghai) and K11 Art Foundation, will open on 13 March to coincide with Art Basel’s Hong Kong fair. The show will feature new works from a line-up of internationally acclaimed artists, including Rirkrit Tiravanija and Ian Cheng.
Argentine author and theater director, Mariano Pensotti, is best known for creating theatre that explores the tension between fiction and reality. The director is heralded as one of the most important experimental directors and writers in Argentina, who creates theatre written for the stage as well as site-specific performances for public places.
Performance group Cirque Eloize mixes acrobatics, juggling, cyr wheel and German wheel performances. The company are due to tour the UK with their visually arresting Cirkopolis, a stylish and sophisticated production, full of awe-inspiring acts. We speak to performer Ashley Carr ahead of the opening tonight at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre. Carr, who the Jerwood Award and founded his own company Kicking The Moon, talks us through the creation process and the pros and cons of performing in different spaces.
Encounters, comprising of 20 large-scale projects by artists from across Asia and beyond, opens to the public on 15 March. A sector of Art Basel‘s Hong Kong show, this year’s edition of Encounters will present artworks from a wide selection of countries including Indonesia, Germany and the United States.
Andrew Whaley’s play, The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco at Gate Theatre transports the audience back to Zimbabwe in 1986. The piece focuses on Comrade Fiasco, a man who came out of a cave, seven years after independence claiming to be a freedom fighter. Fiasco finds himself in a cell with Chidhina, Febi and Jungle, who attempt to come to terms with Fiasco’s confused accounts of the war and their own personal feelings on what happened. We speak to writer Andrew Whaley about his initial idea for the play and the importance of considering independence now nearly 30 years later.
The UK’s leading artist fair has announced the details of its line-up for April 2015. Now in its eighth edition, The Other Art Fair opens on 23 April at its new location in Bloomsbury, London. The new venue, Victoria House, will provide 22,000 sq. ft. of space for an extended live programme and more opportunties for rising stars of the art world to showcase their work to the public.
Issue 63 of Aesthetica hits shop shelves 1 February. In the February / March edition we explore innovation through experimentation with the new. Moving outside of comfort zones can be invigorating. It’s in these moments that we have the opportunity to embrace fresh ideas and apply them to everyday life. Drawing upon a range of influences can create something entirely original and interdisciplinary. Each artist featured in this issue follows that ideology. Many of the practitioners are people that have backgrounds in other areas but have moved between art forms and disciplines cross-pollinating their output along the way.