A famous critique of Jean-François Lyotard’s brassy “I define postmodern as incredulity toward meta-narratives” is that, if you go in for his postmodernism, you have to be incredulous towards this statement as well. You also have to distrust the meta-narrative of postmodernism, and have to distrust the “have to” part, then not take that distrust for granted in turn, and so on and backwards. This quickly becomes recursive, the mental equivalent of looking in a mirror at a mirror behind you. So what starts out as a defence against monolithic and dubiously agenda-driven claims to power becomes paralysing quickly – what possible action can you take when everything triggers an endless chain of distrust? For artist Mary Kelly, whose career has been devoted to a narrative-based analysis of Feminism and post-modernism, flitting between the personal and the theoretical as in her famous Post-Partum Document (1973–1979), this is of crucial importance. How much incredulity, or rather self-incredulity, is needed, is healthy – even towards the narratives of Feminism and post-modernism themselves?
Review of Mary Kelly: On the passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
Running alongside the contemporary art fair Frieze London, Frieze Masters offers a unique view of the relationship between old and new art. Visitors to Booth B5 at the fair this year will be able to enjoy a new solo presentation of works by Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, staged by Hauser & Wirth. Best known for his kinetic mechanical sculptures, Tinguely’s (1925 – 1991) work explores the aesthetics of movement and utilses found objects in a witty and whimsical way.
In a sprawling megalopolis like Mexico City it can be a pain to get from one place to the next, making it complicated to coordinate group gallery openings. However, with the explosion of contemporary art in the Mexican capital galleries are becoming more integrated, connecting through mutual interests when its not possible to connect by proximity.
The Carrousel du Louvre welcomes the international photography fair for the fifth time. Founded by Cécile Schall, grand-daughter to Roger Schall, this is an inimitable Parisian event which presents the opportunity to view works from a young, creative generation, soaring in popularity amongst collectors. For fotofever’s 2014 edition, a selection of over 100 international galleries will take the limelight – over half of which specialise solely in photography – all exhibiting emerging artists of tomorrow.
The work of Japanese artist Shinro Ohtake appears in a solo exhibition at Parasol Unit, London, this autumn. Running 12 October – 12 December, the presentation showcases Ohtake’s extensive, diverse and innovative body of work. With a practice spanning 30 years, the artist has positioned himself as one of the most important creative forces in contemporary Japanese art. His expansive output is based primarily around the activity of cutting and pasting, but also includes drawing, pasted works, painting, sculpture and photography, as well as experimental music and videos.
The work of fashion photographer Horst P. Horst, whose evocative images are some of the most well known of the 20th century, is showcased in a new exhibition at the V&A, London. The show features 250 photographs and describes the photographer’s collaborations with leading fashion icons such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel in Paris. Horst began his career as a society photographer in the 1930s and his groundbreaking style and innovative use of light and shadow helped him to create carefully structured shots of models. The perfect blend of light and shadow were used to startling effect in his work and in 1943 his editor at Vogue cited his subtle manipulation of lighting as one his key strengths.
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.
Pauline Bloomfield is a freelance textile artist and part time tutor. Based in Derbyshire, she has exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions in various parts of the country. In 2010 Pauline stopped teaching in mainstream adult education to concentrate on her work in care homes in Nottinghamshire and Lancashire.
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.
In the Special 60th Edition of Aesthetica we celebrate the emerging photographers that are shaping the future of the image-based practice in The Next Generation. We have partnered with the London College of Communication to survey some of photography’s rising stars and showcase their fresh ideas and new concepts. Award-winning photographer Alice Myers has pursued documentary projects in Mexico, Ireland and France. Her works look at migrants attempting to cross borders and her series Nothing is Impossible Under the Sun captured people in Calais trying to get into the UK. She speaks to us about the impact of winning awards and her interest in border crossing.
The 16 October hosts the opening of Nabil Nahas’ new exhibition in London. The title of the exhibit, Phoenix Dactylifera, derives from the artist’s heritage and is the name of the native Date Palm tree from the Middle East. As one of Lebanon’s most significant contemporary artists, Nahas will be the most noteworthy and first to exhibit in the UK to date.