Once a contention, now a proverb, “…endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved”, Darwin’s epochal observation at the close of The Origin of Species (1859) might aptly describe Katie Paterson’s theme and agenda in her latest exhibition, at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. In appointing Man’s place on Earth as her subject, Paterson explores not simply our adaptation to the natural world, but also related issues of social space, our functioning therein, and how evolution conveys as much an aesthetic as a developmental narrative. The centrepiece, Fossil Necklace, charts the unfolding of life over 3.5 billion years.
The title of the exhibition Love Me Love Me Not instantly calls to mind the childhood game of the same name and, much like the stripping of the flower’s petals offers a glimpse at the structure underneath the works offer an insight into the rich and varied cultures of the countries represented. Running at the Venice Biennale until November, the showcase collates the work of 17 artists.
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.
The RA Schools Show, the annual exhibition of works by final year students, will open on 19 June at the iconic Royal Academy Schools. Held in the historic studio spaces of the Schools, situated in Burlington Gardens the exhibition invites students to show works developed over a three-year period of study, providing visitors with a rare opportunity to view and buy exceptional pieces from an aspiring generation of international artists. The RA Schools support a broad range of contemporary art practice, and visitors can expect to see work that includes painting, sculpture, performance, video and digital media.
This summer FACT, Liverpool, combines art and politics in Turning FACT inside Out. Running 13 June until 25 August the exhibition explores aspects of environment, architecture, capitalism and augmented reality. Showcasing a selection of provocative international artists, Turning FACT inside Out tackles some of the most pressing, controversial and literally ground-breaking political issues of today. The works take over the entire building and beyond, including recreating an indoor fracking site complete with earth tremors and flames.
York Theatre Royal’s thrice-yearly TakeOver Festival is certainly to be admired. A performing arts festival programmed and run entirely by young people, it succeeds again and again in bringing compelling, often lesser known works to the fore, and could never be accused of shying away from the bold or, in the case of this year’s central production of Neil LaBute’s 9/11 drama The Mercy Seat, the brutal. Bravely selected by this year’s Takeover Artistic Director Ruby Clarke as the piece she wanted to direct, this vital, highly-charged play examines people’s capacity to utilise major tragedies as tools for personal gain, and – quite rightly – it’s a short, sharp shock of a theatre experience.
Since her success at the Edinburgh International Film Festival for her first directional feature debut; Flying Blind, Polish director Katarzyna Klimkiewicz’s is creating a stir in the film world. Not a stranger to the many facets of filmmaking, Katarzyna graduated from the Polish Film School in Lodz and has collaborated with the Polish National Television on many projects, including her documentary Krystian Lupa’s Labyrinth. Her documentary Wasserschlacht – The Great Border Battle co-directed with Andrew Friedman was awarded a Berlin Today Award during Berlinale in 2007 and her short film Hanoi-Warszawa won many Polish and International awards and was voted the Best Short of 2010 by the European Film Academy.
Flying Blind, starring Helen McCrory and Najib Oudghiri, is a compelling and provocative thriller. McCrory plays Frankie, an accomplished aerospace engineer who designs drones for use in combat. One day, as she gives a guest lecture on the subject, student Kahil (Oudghiri) – a Muslim – strikes up a flirtation with her and, against her better judgement, an affair begins.
Aesthetica spoke to Katarzyna about her film career, Flying Blind and what we can expect to see from her in the future.
The Ikon Gallery’s current exhibition, Tapa – Barkcloth paintings from the Pacific, proposes a curious offering for a contemporary art gallery. However once inside the space, a timeless partnership, which transgresses history and the furthest reaches of the globe, is erected with the second show by François Morellet, which richly demands further exploration.
Interview with Alexander Lass and Nadia Papachronopoulou – directors of the Orange Tree Theatre’s Writers Group new production Unrivalled Landscape
Written by members of Orange Tree Theatre’s Writers Group, which nurtures the talents of professional playwrights, Unrivalled Landscape comprises six new short plays in which a washed-up comedian, a park warden, a former war photographer, a Trinidadian security guard and a Bahraini prince encounter each other as they try to escape from their pasts. The pieces are set in and around Richmond, where the theatre has its home, which was described nearly 200 years ago by Sir Walter Scott as “an unrivalled landscape”. Unrivalled Landscape is directed by the Orange Tree’s Trainee Directors, who are part of a scheme which has launched the careers of leading Artistic Directors including the Lyric’s Sean Holmes, Glasgow Citzens’ Theatre’s Dominic Hill, and former Directors of Hampstead Theatre and Birmingham Rep, Anthony Clark and Rachel Kavanaugh.
Aesthetica spoke to its two directors, Alexander Lass and Nadia Papachronopoulou, about what audiences can expect from the work, and their future projects.
Aesthetica speaks to Gilad Ratman, currently representing Israel at the Venice Biennale about politics, narratives and his project for the event. The Workshop is a five-channel video installation that interacts with the architectural structure of the pavilion to create an exciting work that draws the viewer along on a narrative journey. We are presented with video imagery, recounted in a non-linear chronicle, of a group of people tunnelling from Israel to Venice.
Bahamian New York based artist Tavares Strachen talks to Aesthetica about science, the North Pole and the desire to fit in. Entitled Polar Eclipse, the Pavilion for the Bahamas at the Venice Biennale makes for a rich, multi-sensory experience.
Born and bred in Zurich, Play Hunter is an artist, author and creative entrepreneur. Studying Fine Arts at Saint Martins College of Art, London, Hunter set up her website Playlust back in 2007. Six years later, what began as just a space for portraits of artist friends, transformed into a hub of artistic discussion across the world. Aesthetica speaks to Hunter about her inspiration, her exhibitions and her first photo book Now & Wow – A Style Hunter’s Book of Photographs.