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Review of Wild Card, Tim Casson, Casson & Friends, Sadlers Wells, London

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.

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2015 Preview Launches Today

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.

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Interview with Electronic Musician Christian Fennesz

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.

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Bruce Nauman: Transgressing Conventional Boundaries in Aesthetica Magazine

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.

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Art Paris Art Fair, Grand Palais, Paris

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.

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New Art West Midlands 2015: Shortlist of 30 Emerging Artists

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.

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Review of Pronoia: Paranoia In reverse, Curated by Sophie Nibbs

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.

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Aesthetica Art Prize: Interview with Denys Blacker, Longlisted Artist

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.

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Interview with Northern Ballet Dancer Kiara Flavin

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. 

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Art Fair Tokyo, 20 – 22 March, 2015

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.

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In Conversation with Cornelia Parker, in Aesthetica Magazine

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. 

Interview with Exhibit Be Founder Brandan Odums

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.

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Aesthetica Art Prize 2015 Longlist: Carolina Redondo

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.

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Review of Sky Academy Arts Scholarships Showcase Event

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.

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Review of Grace Schwindt: Only a free individual can create a free society, Site Gallery, Sheffield

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.

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The Tell-Tale Heart, Chi Art Space, Hong Kong

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.

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Mariano Pensotti: Cineastas (Filmmakers), Museum of Contemporray Art, Chicago

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.

Interview with Ashley Carr, Performer in Cirque Eloize

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. 

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Encounters, Art Basel, Hong Kong

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.

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Interview with Andrew Whaley, Writer of The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco

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.

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The Other Art Fair 2015

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.

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Aesthetica Issue 63 February / March Out Now

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. 

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We Could Be Heroes, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

In 20 bittersweet photographs taken over the last century from master photographers, this exhibition explores youth culture and the various rites of passage towards adulthood. We Could Be Heroes reflects the rebellious bravado of the ‘teenager,’ a character which appeared during a new wave of post-war freedom, as younger western generations seized their opportunity to turn away from tradition and assert new attitudes and subcultures. 

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Review of Jeff Koons, Pompidou Centre, Paris

In this retrospective exhibition of American artist Jeff Koons, the Pompidou Centre has provided viewers with an illuminating chronology on the evolution of one of contemporary art’s most controversial figures. Koons is best known for his reproductions of ordinary shopping-mall items – like blow-up dolls and balloon animals – into metallic and glossy stainless steel objects. His work has fiercely divided many in the art world who argue that Koons offers a wonderfully ironic comment on the normative aesthetic value of art, while others condemn the pieces as kitschy self-merchandising for the Koons brand.

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Christian Marclay, White Cube Bermondsey, London

Continuing Christian Marclay’s long-standing interest in the relationship between image and sound, this exhibition is comprised of a series of new works on canvas and paper that feature onomatopoeia taken from comic books as well as a lively programme of weekly performances.

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Sidsel Christensen, Andrew Leventis and Lisa Slominski: We Never Dream Alone, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

In We Never Dream Alone, works by Sidsel Christensen, Andrew Leventis and Lisa Slominski see the borders between real and unreal, fact and fiction, virtual and visceral, and blurred and explored. Diverse media, from video and painting to installation, bind together the diverse yet complementary practices of these three artists, as each navigates the ‘other’ space.

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Highlights of London Art Fair, 21 – 25 January, 2015

The UK’s premier fair for Modern and contemporary British art opens for its private view today. Situated in the Business Design Centre, Islington, the 27th edition of the London Art Fair will be on view to the public 21-25 January. With 128 exhibtors from across the world, the fair gives a unique overview of the art world and has an exiting programme of curated exhibitions, talks, films and performances. There are a number of highlights at this year’s event, including the inaugural Art Projecs Artist Award and the premiere of William Mackrell’s North South live performance on 22 January.

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FutureEverything Festival, 25-28 February, Manchester

For its 20th anniversary, FutureEverything is not staging a retrospective, but a platform for a global community to collaboratively reflect on the bleeding edges of art, academia, design and business. This year, the pioneering digital culture Festival will feature new commissions, installations, conference speakers, film screenings and live events. In Manchester city, The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) will be the hub for the art, live and film programmes, while FutureEverything Conference returns to the neo-gothic Manchester Town Hall for inspiring talks from internationally renowned speakers and hands-on workshops.

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Highlights from the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014

During December 2014, the small fishing town of Kochi in South India’s state of Kerala, was besieged by the international art crowd as the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 (KMB) opened its second edition. India’s first and currently only biennale of contemporary art, the first edition saw a total of 400,000 visitors (just 60,000 less than the Venice Biennale) over its three month run, giving this hotly awaited second edition a lot to aspire to. Unveiling a multi-venue exhibition of 100 works by 94 artists from 30 countries, not including the numerous collateral projects initiated by independents, KMB’s second edition began with a very promising start.

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HISTORY IS NOW: 7 Artists Take On Britain, Hayward Gallery, London

In the run up to the 2015 General Election, History Is Now will look at the last 70 years of British history to offer a new way of thinking about how we got to where we are today, considering everything from the Cold War and post-Thatcherite society, feminism and protest movements, to ‘mad cow disease’ and celebrity culture. Seven UK based artists – John Akomfrah, Simon Fujiwara, Roger Hiorns, Hannah Starkey, Richard Wentworth, and Jane and Louise Wilson – will curate sections of the exhibition, looking at particular periods dating back to 1945.

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KAIROS, In Conjunction with Playtime exhibition, Cornerhouse, Manchester

Group exhibition, Playtime, is the final Cornerhouse group exhibition before they make their move into HOME in May 2015. The show sees a selection of artists including Rosa Barba, Niklas Goldbach, Andy Graydon, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Gabriel Lester, Naomi Kashiwagi, Shannon Plumb, Humberto Vélez and Jan St Werner create new commissions which take inspiration from Cornerhouse’s iconic brick structure and director Jacques Tati’s 1967 comedic masterpiece Playtime.

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Review of Julie Verhoeven: Whiskers Between My Legs, ICA, London

Described as a “grotto of visual excess” Julie Verhoeven’s exploration of gender identity past and present is a disturbing explosion of vulgar kitsch and womanhood. Invited to take over the Fox Reading Room at the ICA, the fashion designer has combined film, illustration and mixed media sculpture to create a surreal installation that is both disconcerting yet provocative.

Get 50% Off Aesthetica in the January Sale: 12 Month Subscription for Just £12 Plus p&p

Subscriptions to Aesthetica are now available from as little as £12 in the January Sale, providing readers with a chance to save 50% on subscriptions in the new year and enjoy 12 months of the latest news in contemporary art and culture, direct to their home.

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Tunga: From “La Voie Humide”, Pilar Corrias London

The enigmatic, almost totemic, structures currently on view at Pilar Corrias in London, are the new body of work by Brazilian artist Tunga. Entitled From “La Voie Humide” (translated The Humid Way), this is his second solo show at the gallery. Encompassing six mixed media sculptures and six works on paper and linen, the exhibition spans across the ground floor and lower ground floor areas.

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Manual Cinema: Mementos Mori, MCA Chicago

Manual Cinema‘s Mementos Mori is a feature-length cinematic shadow play that combines overhead projectors, intricate paper puppets, sound effects, a live onstage chamber ensemble, and live actors to discuss digital culture and our relationship with death and dying. The piece weaves together three intersecting narratives: an elderly film projectionist finding romance with a mysterious stranger; a bike messenger exploring the afterlife using her iPhone; and a seven-year-old discovering her own mortality.

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João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva: Papagaio, Camden Arts Centre, London

For their first major show in London, Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva will present a magical, immersive film installation. Their kaleidoscopic world created by 27 16mm films and two camera obscura installations, takes viewers on an imaginative journey into science, philosophy and religion with each film examining a particular consideration of material, animal or human behaviour that probes at the nature of truth and perception.

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Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014, ICA, London

For its 65th anniversary, Bloomberg New Contemporaries arrives at the ICA for the fifth time and selectors Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Enrico David and Goshka Macuga have chosen works by 55 of the most promising artists emerging from UK art schools out of 1,400 submissions. This year printmaking, moving image and performance comprise the majority of the final selection as well as an interest in modes of production and materiality, with artists exploring themes linked to current affairs, human behaviour and desires, the construction of language and narrative, and the ‘body’ in performative practices also takes centre stage.

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Sophie Calle’s First Solo Exhibition in China, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong

For Sophie Calle’s first solo exhibition in China, the artist has covered an entire wall with images from her Cash Machine project. The piece first originated in 1988 and was extended 15 years later with the 30 minute film Unfinished. Calle used the video camera recordings of an American bank, which depicted clients going about their business, first as a series of stills and then as material to interview bank workers.

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Akram Khan Curates One Side to the Other at The Lowry, Salford Quays

Renowned choreographer and dancer, Akram Khan curates the second in The Lowry’s Performer as Curator series, bringing together a personal selection of his influences in the form of sculpture, painting, photography, film, live installation and performance.

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Bolt Gallery for Russian Art and Design (GRAD), London

GRAD aims to spark new ideas through providing international audiences with insights into Russian art, design and culture. Through costume designs and period photographs, this exhibition explores Bolt, Dmitri Shostakovich’s ballet written in 1931, a musical experimentation full of skulduggery and drunken conspiracy, which was forbidden to stand on stage for 74 years as it was suspected to be a satirical piece, mocking the Soviet authorities. In fact, constructivist values are reflected in all of Bolt, with Shostakovich commissioned by the Moscow Art Theatre to compose the score to a ballet that would serve and support the goals of socialism and communism. Combining circus music, waltzes, marches and tangos together with popular tunes, the composer envisaged the piece to be a celebration of the proletariat.