“I was born at the same time as video” – a viewer reads a memo in a dark labyrinth of the first retrospective of American video artist Bill Viola. Recently opened at the Grand Palais until 21 July, it shows off twenty works and is the first video art exhibition at the National Galleries. The retrospective revolves around three open philosophical questions: Who am I? Where am I? Where am I going? The experience of going to the exhibition visit is conceived as a journey, however, the artworks, as precious artifacts, are not called to give the answers, but to pose the questions.
The Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition is now open to the public, showcasing innovative works that push the boundaries of media and engage with key issues relevant today. From the extinction of bees to playing with form, and questioning what makes a painting or drawing, are just some of the topics explored by this year’s artists. Last year’s inaugural Art Prize show set the bar high for the international art it represented; Joon Park was longlisted with his work Ceramics Field Array that draws upon the history of the Korean bowl. We speak to Joon about the meaning behind this art form.
The highly acclaimed American artist Ursula von Rydingsvard arrives at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, for her first large-scale survey in Europe. Running until 4 January 2015, the exhibition, which is the artist’s most extensive to date, features more than 40 works of drawing and sculpture made over the last two decades. Presented in YSP’s purpose-built Underground Gallery and the open air, the show represents the full scope of von Rydingsvard’s diverse practice.
One of the main programmes for the 60th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (1 to 6 May 2014), entitled Memories Can’t Wait – Film without Film, will bring together works that take place in a cinema but play with the normal viewing situation. Many of these works move away from the traditional moving image projection. So what happens in the cinema when the key element of the movie-going experience – the film itself – is taken away, when the screen is blank, when memories are evoked or “impossible films” presented? In one of the most extensive programme of “filmless films” so far, Oberhausen will present over 30 historical and new pieces that explore this question. Film without Film is curated by Mika Taanila, one of the most renowned contemporary Finnish artists and filmmakers. We speak to Taanila about his latest project.
Don’t let the title, Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s, fool you. These calm, classically proportioned clothes have nothing to say about social or economic upheaval. They’re pretty things for privileged people: glorious examples of sewing, draping, and pattern-making done during a decade of fascism, depression, and civil war. Here is the proof that Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
Since the 10th Unilever Turbine Hall commission at Tate Modern back in 2009, this is Miroslaw Balka’s first solo show with new works in London and his fourth at White Cube gallery. Titled DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 25,31m AMSL after Sigmund Freud’s book The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), the Mason’s Yard exhibition runs with another parallel exhibition of the Polish artist at the Freud Museum in Northwest London, DIE TRAUMDEUTUNG 75,32m AMSL. The accompanying numerals in both titles refer to the altitude (height above sea level) of each venue respectively.
In the booklet of his new album, Mutations, Vijay Iyer states: “our intent, as players and observers, is to place ourselves fully in the moment with sound.” This desire was perfectly executed at the European Premiere of the record at Haus der Kunst, Munich, on 29 March. With his hands firmly attached to the piano, his head thrown back and his eyes shut, Iyer was lost in the midst of his creation; and so was the audience. The pianist-composer’s album is both captivating and mind-blowing, combing so many detailed fragments it is sometimes hard to comprehend how they slot together so perfectly.
Living in today’s world of gratuitous violence, high technology and professionally formulated plans for the future one may not find it surprising that our methods and ideas have historical roots in Fascism. The Guggenheim’s Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe explores the brutality and brilliance that went into the constantly evolving field of Futurist art whose legacy continues to evolve, and has influenced people like architect Le Corbusier and technologist Steve Jobs.
Turkish artist Burak Delier’s exhibition Freedom Has No Script including a new commission by Iniva opened at Rivington Place last week. The artist explores the relationship between capitalism and art, mixing seriousness and wit to critique society in a way that is relevant to his native Turkey and beyond. We caught up with Delier to ask him some questions about the essence of his art and his understanding of his own work.
This April there are a number of outstanding art exhibitions on display across the world, and we take a look at the best shows open this weekend. Munich’s Haus der Kunst focuses on the wide-ranging works of Ellen Gallagher, while the city gates open in Glasgow for the start of the sixth international festival. Catch the first weekend of the Saatchi Gallery’s re-joining of Africa and Latin America in Pangaea, or follow the themes of social unrest with Welcome to Iraq at South London Gallery, and across the Atlantic there’s SFMOMA’s Public Intimacy, a revelation of the politics entwined in the everyday of South Africa.
German artist Sybille Neumeyer was announced as the winner of the Main Prize for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 at the exhibition preview last night. Her stunning light installation Song for the Last Queen (2013) is comprised of 7,614 bees – one eighth of the colony – that were collected from a naturally collapsed bee hive and placed as a rhythm of black spots in honey creating a silent score.
The Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 launches today with a preview and will be open to the public tomorrow, running from 4 April to 22 June. In anticipation of tonight’s opening, we speak to last year’s winner Damien O’Mara who took home the Main Prize award with his photographic piece Trespasser Series.