This autumn, the seventh Sacred season of live art and contemporary performance at Chelsea Theatre premieres new work from interdisciplinary artists, who explore our taboos, examine assumptions about gender and family love, challenge public art policies and toy with the boundaries of multimedia. Some investigate consumption, compulsion, and mental health, and others wonder what happens when the label of ‘human’ no longer applies.
Type Motion at FACT Liverpool features over 200 outstanding examples of text and typography being used alongside the moving image. Currently on display and running until 8 February, the exhibition showcases the creative possibilities of opening up uses of text, extending the medium beyond print and highlighting the importance of writing as an artform in itself.
Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry presents a provocative and fascinating new exhibition which makes us question identity in modern day Britain. Perry has become a celebrity on the modern art scene, regularly presenting a refreshingly subversive view of British life. In his latest exhibition, 14 portraits of individuals, families and groups, which represent many different aspects of modern day Britain, including a disgraced politician, a young female-to-male transsexual, Northern Ireland Loyalist marchers and X-Factor contestant Rylan Clark, occupy the Gallery’s nineteenth and 20th century rooms on Floor 1.
Collezione Maramotti and Whitechapel Gallery announce a special evening of conversation, reading and performance with Corin Sworn, winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. The event forms part of the Glasgow-based artist’s showcase of work currently being created during the prize’s six-month Italian residency. An avid storyteller, Sworn uses drawing, video and installation to explore the assemblage of narrative through an infusion of collected and sometimes random stimulus.
The season of literature festivals is well and truly upon us. October saw the 23rd annual Off the Shelf Festival in Sheffield. For as long as the festival has existed, it has attracted plenty of famous faces. This year was no exception. From literary newcomers to veteran writers, the festival was a unique celebration of the written word. This year marked the biggest Off the Shelf festival yet, with over 200 events taking place across the steel city. Aesthetica takes a look at some of the best events across the City.
A new solo exhibition of the work of American photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager, opens at the National Gallery of Victoria from 14 November. Founded in 1861, Australia’s oldest public art gallery proudly introduces its audiences to Prager’s lusciously rich photographic oeuvres. In her elaborately conceived and poignantly staged photographs, Prager freely references the aesthetics of mid-20th century American cinema and photography.
Drawing its title from the antithesis inherent to the making and the experience of art, Freezer Burn focuses on the idea that artists are able to experience powerful forms of life and subsequently transform them into subtle yet potent sensorial realities, expanding the smallest sentiment into a world of its own. Organised by Hungarian-born, New York based artist Rita Ackermann, this group exhibition unites the work of 15 individual practitioners, each exploring the juxtaposing emotions of freeze and burn.
Pomona is a sinister and surreal thriller from Alistair McDowall, writer of Talk Show, Brilliant Adventures and Captain Amazing. The play rotates around Ollie whose sister is missing. Searching Manchester in desperation, she finds all roads lead to Pomona, an abandoned concrete island at the heart of the city. The performance runs at Orange Tree Theatre, London, 12 November – 13 December. Aesthetica speaks to McDowall about the process of writing the piece and his work with director Ned Bennett.
The 41st edition of leading international art fair, FIAC brings 191 galleries from 26 countries into the vast space of Paris’ Grand Palais. The fair’s founding principles are to be attentive to the evolutions and concerns of contemporary creation, to question the transformation of the careers of gallerists as well as artists themselves, to lead prospective actions, and to be creative and responsive while ensuring a spirit of continuity across each edition of FIAC.
The alternate title of the Contemporary African Art Fair is a neat reference to its unification of the continent’s 54 constituent countries. Yet though the titular focus of the fair may be continental, its reach is global: 1:54 sees an astounding geographical array of galleries, from Abidjan to Seattle via Cape Town, meet in London to exhibit their artists. The sense of cultural exchange is almost overwhelming, the proliferation of visual stimuli replicated aurally in the French, Italian and Danish that can be heard drifting along the corridors.
Like some sort of spandex-clad somersaulter often found in the medium itself, performance art has, in recent years, acrobatically risen to become the red-hot property in today’s contemporary art world. Ever since the mid-1960s, the likes of Yves Klein and Yoko Ono have been utilising the experimental and anti-commodity form to evoke radical messages and go against the commercial gallery grain. But nowadays, performance art is very much the toast of the establishment; in some cases for the better, and some for the worse.
The leading international contemporary art fair, Frieze London, returns to the heart of the UK’s capital, London’s Regent’s Park, for its 12th edition. Sponsored by Deutsche Bank and designed by Universal Design Studio, this autumn’s fair sees a few changes with the inclusion of two specialist sections: Focus, a celebration and fostering of emerging galleries up to 12 years old, and Live, a haven for performance or participatory-based work. Also new to 2014, is the fair’s novel allegiance to public space, using themes of contract, texture and tone. Design highlights of the fair’s bespoke housing include a timber-lined entrance courtyard and dedicated ancillary spaces.
The Other Art Fair places the spotlight on emerging artists and connects art lovers of all tastes and experience, directly with 130 of the most talented and unrepresented artists. Running 16-19 October at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the fair presents thousands of pieces of art, starting from just £50. In addition to the various stands on display, the event is an art experience in its own right, featuring an immersive theatre with Non Zero One, art and live music performances, kids create area, Crate Brewery Bar, Soho House’s Dirty Burger pop up and much more.
Aesthetica Issue 61 is now available to purchase online and in stores internationally. The new edition considers progress and change. There are a few questions around this including how much time needs to pass before something needs to change, or is it simply the case that progress is continuous? The key element is to recognise developments, keeping your eyes and ears open. This is particularly important in the art world because when you start tracking artists and noticing trends, this is when things start to get exciting, especially when those trends are just under the radar.
Wysing Arts Centre celebrates its 25th birthday with a residency programme focusing upon ‘the future,’ exploring future potential through what we know of the past. In response to an open call, almost 300 artists applied to take part in the residency, The Future, and the final selection includes: Olivier Castel, Julia Crabtree and William Evans, Jesse Darling, and Alice Theobald.
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Forced Entertainment has spent the last three decades pushing the boundaries of contemporary performance. Founded in 1984 by six recently graduated artists, the theatrical group have created numerous productions that have continued to play with language, staging, costume, lighting, humour, narrative sound and the very nature of a performance piece. Artistic Director Tim Etchells is also a solo artist and has seen his work exhibited internationally. This year he is officially Artist of the City of Lisbon. He speaks to Aesthetica about upcoming performance, The Notebook, and his ability to sustain a theatre company for 30 years.
For 10 years Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival has continued in its aim to turn the small northern town into one big screen. Over the decade festival-goers have been given the opportunity to watch hundreds of international film premieres in a plethora of unique settings, besides the varied special events that last year saw performance artist, Sidsel Christensen, balanced precariously above the River Tweed. For their 10th year, festival organisers have not only produced a glossy anniversary catalogue, TEN, but they also prepared a spectacular Opening Gala with two UK premieres from Momcilo Mrdakovic and Ben Russell.
Artes Mundi 6 is a major contemporary art prize based in the UK, taking place bi-annually to bring together through an exhibition some of the world’s most celebrated artists of today. This year, the event branches out beyond the National Museum Cardiff to include Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff and ffotogallery, Penarth, with a programme of performance, music, site-specific installations, film, lectures and seminars.
RITE OF PASSAGE is New York’s first major exhibition devoted to the early years of the 20th century avant-garde movement, Vienna Actionism. Through a rare selection of early vintages prints and original contact sheets, as well as paintings and collages by artists such as Günter Brus, Otto Muehl, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, and curated by Hubert Klocker, the exhibition is a representative survey of the formative years of Vienna Actionism.
In a town whose faded seaside glamour is both complimented and disturbed by a swath of public art, it is only at low tide that the feverish digging can commence. A swatch of beach that in the morning looks like the realisation of a grim prophecy in a Morrissey song is by late afternoon swamped by an ecstatic crowd. Michael Sailstorfer has buried £10,000 worth of gold bullion in the unforgiving sands of the Old Harbour.
This September, Rashid Johnson’s critically acclaimed piece, Dutchman, will run at Chicago’s Red Square Russian and Turkish Baths for five evenings with performances beginning at 11pm as part of Performa 10 Years. Dutchman is Johnson’s first live performance and is a reimagining of the Obie Award-winning theatrical play written in 1964 by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), re-enacted within the setting of a traditional bathhouse – having premiered at the historic Russian & Turkish Baths in New York City’s East Village.
This exhibition currently on display is the first survey of works by David Farrell (1919-2013) since his death earlier last year, and showcases images of famous sitters from Louis Armstrong and Laurence Olivier, to Anthony Caro, Margot Fonteyn and the Rolling Stones. The British photographer is internationally renowned for his iconic images of the greatest musicians, actors, authors, dancers and artists of the 20th century, as well as documentary works depicting domestic life in Britain and anonymous street subjects.
To celebrate ten years of existence, Dover Street Market holds The Next Ten Years: a series of events, installations and special products. For the duration of September, the basement and second floor of Dover Street Market will be totally transformed, the Rose Bakery will be enlarged and artists design four new fitting rooms. Furthermore, an event space on the first floor, an expanded jewellery section and wallet display will be given over to Louis Vuitton for the entire A/W14 season.
In his Festival lecture The Culture of Violence in the Twentieth Century, Alan Kramer points out that, unlike the Germans, the English did not during World War I rely on prisoners of war as a labour force. Not only this, but English POWs were treated comparably well. As Professor of European History at Trinity College Dublin, Kramer is precisely one of those who, in the words of Albert Camus, “make history.” Yet as Festival Director Jonathan Mills quotes in full from Camus in his introductory statement in the Festival programme, “It is the destiny of the artist not to serve those who make history, but to serve those who are its victims.”
The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is delighted to announce it is now a BAFTA recognised festival, an achievement that is unprecedented for a festival in its fourth year. This latest accolade stands testament to the creativity and bold programming of ASFF, which has now firmly established itself as a dynamic player on the film festival circuit.
Turner Prize nominee Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and American photographer Anne Collier mark the 20th anniversary of Studio Voltaire with their first solo presentations to take place within one of London’s public galleries. Chetwynd will present her largest commission to date, Hermitos Children 2, within a large-scale installation whose props and interiors will immerse visitors within her world of 16th century wandering troupes and wild, costumed, carnivalesque live performances.
There is still time today to enter Aesthetica’s creative opportunities for artists and writers. The Aesthetica Art Prize, now in its eighth year, celebrates excellence in contemporary art from around the world. Artists at any stage in their career working in all media are invited to submit works that demonstrate innovation, creativity and technical skill. The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award supports and publishes literary talent on an international scale, selecting finalists for publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual. We present the prizes available for both awards, which make them essential events to take part in this year.
Fierce is an international festival of live art centred in Birmingham, 2 – 12 October. The festival embraces a diverse range of contemporary artforms and multidisciplinary collaborations, including theatre, dance, music, installations, activism, digital practices and parties. Fierce reimagines the city with performances in out-of-the-ordinary spaces, such as a mechanic’s garage, a former metal factory and Moseley’s Grade 2 listed swimming baths.
Lacey Contemporary Gallery is set to open this autumn in Notting Hill London. Placing its artists at the heart of the business, director Andrew Lacey intends to provide a positive environment for his practitioners to work in, allowing them to flourish and evolve over the years. Working with emerging and established artists, the gallery aims to offer those working with them a complete business service so they are able to focus solely on their art. We speak to Lacey about his favourite historic artists and his hopes for the new space.
There is still time to enter the Aesthetica Art Prize, which welcomes submissions from artists at all levels working across media from photography to painting, installation to sculpture and performance to artists’ film. A celebration of excellence in contemporary art, the Aesthetica Art Prize supports and nurtures rising talent from across the world and prizes include group exhibition, editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine and £5,000 courtesy of Hiscox.
MANIFESTA 10, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Manifesta originated in the post-communist period in the 1990s with the aim of balancing the information gap between the East and West, North and South. Offering audiences an opportunity to exchange knowledge and rethink the platforms and influences of art and its expressions, Manifesta considers both the poetic and political nature of art and contextualises the contemporary with the historical. Operating within contested areas allows the biennial to demonstrate the way in which art can aid understanding within this complex world and Manifesta encourages a critical dialogue.
The Natural History Museum of London is a space of gargantuan proportions. The main entrance leads to a cavernous hall that comfortably houses the skeletal frame of a Diplodocus. Several feet away, on the landing of a pronged staircase, sits an oversized, marble statue of Charles Darwin. This is the scene that served as the backdrop to my initial encounter with vocalist, bassist, producer and actress Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes fame. She descended the staircase to deliver a bombastic show for a private, formal event that made the massive fossil and the historical giant she was sandwiched in between look like mere toys in her presence.
The Aesthetica Art Prize invites submissions from artists at all stages in the career, working in any medium and celebrates innovation and excellence in technical skill. Entries are open until 31 August 2014. Selected works for the latest edition of the Prize, spanning film, photography, sculpture and painting are presented here as demonstrations of the breadth and quality of works being produced today; and we highlight the longlisted artists’ achievements since the award. These include Henry Iddon, Ana Catarina Pereira, Wycliffe Stutchbury and Wilson-Eflerová (Kye Wilson and Helena Eflerová).
Over 150 leading authors and artists from more than 30 countries come together for South-East Asia’s most exciting literary event, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF). Sir VS Naipaul, Amitav Ghosh and Eimear McBride are some of the names to be taking part in this celebration of global issues, big ideas and extraordinary stories.
As the final month to enter the Aesthetica Art Prize is upon us, we catch up with last year’s longlisted artist Karl Singporewala to discover how being selected for the Prize has furthered his creative practice. Selected for his work Dial M for Monument, Singporewala now exhibits this piece in a group show for the HIX Award 2014, hosted by the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery in Shoreditch, London. Designed by Damien Hirst and judged by Tracey Emin among other leading art professionals, the prize presents a month long exhibition of the 20 finalists throughout August.
Johny Dar approaches his artistic practice from an innovative angle, painting directly onto his models’ bodies. Dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what is perceived as art, he works across fashion, bodypainting, books, art installations, multimedia and events. His project Dare blends clothing and paint, placing his models in a catwalk show that appeared at Berlin Fashion Week earlier this year. We speak to Dar about his interest in collaborative projects and his audience.
The latest edition of the Aesthetica Art Prize featured outstanding artists working in video, installation and performance. These practitioners are breaking new ground within their given fields, and we are delighted to showcase their selected works, while each artist brings us up to date with their progress since being longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize.
Remote, beautiful – and increasingly endangered – the Arctic has long been a subject of fascination for many and a source of inspiration for artists. SALT is an ambitious concept to create arts and cultural experiences in the northernmost regions of our planet. It will invite world-famous artists to the Arctic Circle to create works which respond to the breathtaking landscapes, nature and history of the Arctic – while always aiming to treat the landscape with care and respect.
Questioning the world around us is a continuous necessity and the desire to challenge everyday systems reinvigorates daily life. This special 60th edition of Aesthetica celebrates innovation and we take a look at a number of practitioners that are breaking new ground within their given fields. Inside this issue we start with a retrospective of French artist Annette Messager at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. For over five decades she has given ordinary objects new meaning in her large-scale installations.
Exciting times lie ahead as we move into the phase of one month left to submit your work to the Aesthetica Art Prize. Cass Art highlights this Prize as a must for emerging artists wanting to make a significant impact upon the art world today. With prizes ranging from up to £5,000 to editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine, which has an impressive readership of 168,000 worldwide, this is a unique opportunity to generate greater exposure. Read Cass Art’s recommendations here.