Aesthetica Magazine Issue 58

April / May 2014

We are at a particularly good time for artistic output. It’s not a coincidence that this reflects the extraordinary things that are happening in the world. The first 14 years of this millennium have progressed so exponentially, it’s simply staggering. It’s a moment of reflection, but also one of anticipation; the artists of today are helping us to make sense of it all.

Inside this issue, we start with an overview of Ernesto Neto’s latest exhibition, The Body That Carries Me, which is currently at Guggenheim Bilbao. Tobias Rehberger. Home and Away and Outside is on at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and presents that artist’s fascination with media and subject. Experimental photography and 1960s Los Angeles are surveyed in Robert Heinecken’s Object Matter, which is now at MoMA. The first major European retrospective of the architect and theorist Bernard Tschumi opens at the Pompidou Centre. We also examine the works of the shortlisted artists of the Aesthetica Art Prize who span media from painting to installation. In photography, we present Gianni Berengo Gardin’s iconic post-war images of Italy. Phil Bergerson shows the hidden sides of America and finds beauty in the everyday. Nadia Lee Cohen is one of the UK’s rising stars; we showcase an extract from her portfolio. Kourtney Roy’s practice is explored through breathtaking images that captivate the imagination.

In music, we discuss traditional perceptions of opera and observe how younger audiences are becoming interested in this form of musical experience. In film, Richard Ayoade speaks about his latest project The Double and what it means to have a doppelganger. Biyi Bandele tells us about his new release Half of a Yellow Sun, which portrays the struggle for Nigerian independence in the late 1960s. In performance, we expose the unique approach that Sean Gandini brings to juggling and the new found resurgence of circus arts with Smashed. Finally, the Last Words go to Sarah McCrory as she discusses the highlights at this year’s Glasgow International festival. Enjoy the issue.

A Sensory Experience

The organic sculptures and magical universe of Ernesto Neto take over the gallery at Guggenheim Bilbao, allowing audiences to engage with their senses.

Personalising the Political

Biyi Bandele’s big screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s seminal novel pares down the story but maintains a personal, evocative impression of Nigeria’s post-colonial struggle.

Ephemeral Performance

Sean Gandini brings a unique approach to juggling with Smashed, an homage to Pina Bausch and the mathematics of dance, featuring four crockery sets, nine performers and 80 apples.

Parallel Opposites

Ayoade’s adaptation of the existentialist Russian novella, The Double, is a dark comedy that sees Eisenberg perform two opposing manifestations of the same self.

Observational Photography

Born in Santa Margherita Ligure in 1930, Gianni Berengo Gardin has produced more than 200 books and exhibitions in his 60-year career.

Keep Britain Tidy

A compelling volume of post-war posters from the National Archive, which paint a portrait of the changing concerns of British government from 1945 to 1975.

Kate Moss by Mario Testino

Edited by Testino and featuring pieces from his private archive, the volume brings together the duo’s best work.

Provocative Explorations

A retrospective of Robert Heinecken at MoMA explores an artist whose work questions and subverts the imagery associated with popular media.

Short Term 12

Short Term 12 taunts and tricks you with soft focus and witty quips, providing the sugar for the incredibly moving medicine of the story underneath.

The Voluntary Butler Scheme

One-man powerhouse Rob Jones returns for his third full-length album, rather charming and doting, jam-packed with meandering guitar melodies.

Fading Dreams

Both a documentary photographer and cultural commentator, Phil Bergerson has spent the past 20 years constructing a visual historical record of the depleting remnants of the American Dream.

Make Your Own Luck

Kate Moross is a veritable design chameleon, whose portfolio boasts a diverse range of work.

For Those in Peril

For Those in Peril follows the aftermath of a fishing accident that claimed five lives in a remote Scottish village.


A haunting record, Abandoned City isn’t just about capturing the vibe of the cities left behind; it’s concerned with working out what loneliness means.

Questioning the Canon

The astonishing re-staging of one of Germany’s most internationally renowned contemporary artists is playful, bewildering, enticing and hypnotic.

Women Photographers

Women Photographers is a definitive collection, which details 60 biographies of the most influential female photographers of the 19th century to the present day.

Picture Perfect

Mixing precise colour palettes with beautiful settings, Kourtney Roy regularly appears as her own subject, taking on different personas in a myriad of contexts.

Simone Felice

Raw, naked emotion remains through Strangers, a collection of songs about real people and real life situations with each number having a distinct sense of place.

Redefining Audiences

Opera, and indeed classical music generally, is healthy and thriving. However, there is still a need to attract the attention of the younger generation.

This is Dalí

Humorous and bright, this is a joyful exploration of Dalí’s world and gives intriguing and comprehensive insights into his personal development and his art.