THE ART & CULTURE MAGAZINE
Issue 97 October / November 2020
Humans and the environment are the focus of Leica’s annual award
City streets are rendered through bold colours and pop minimalism
The art of the memorial in an age of disconnect and increasing isolation
Photographs of last meals draw attention to wider social injustice
UK £5.95 Europe €11.95 USA $15.49
SYMBOLS FROM NATURE
Welcome Editor’s Note
On the Cover Ulrich Hartmann is a German fashion photographer who’s pushing boundaries. The images offer physical interventions with an Alice in Wonderland-esque imagination. Beauty is a concept ready to be deconstructed; the body a playground for new ideas. (p. 100). Cover Image: The Daisy Diaries (2020). Photography: Ulrich Hartmann. Model: Maureen Janson @Modelwerk. Hair & Makeup: Anne Versin. Courtesy of Ulrich Hartmann.
Here we are, six months after lockdown. There has been some return to normality, but we cannot go back to how it was before. Moreover, do we want to go back? I’m referring to some of the changes that we have made for the better. There are less people flying – this is undoubtedly a positive step for the planet. We’ve adapted to a model of blended home plus office working, which addresses the work / life balance. I was fortunate during lockdown because I spent some precious moments with my daughter just before she started school. It’s best to survey the positives before the negatives. There's a lot to appreciate. The world is in a worrying state. We must fear the rise of the far right and do everything we can to stop populism. We are living in a precarious moment where the very idea of democracy is being threatened. There are people who are willing to give it up so easily. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a pointless and meaningless statement, however, it’s whipping up right-wing groups globally. The idea that an armed militia can turn up at a peaceful protest and start shooting people is the stuff that Philip K. Dick was taking about in The Man in the High Castle. I can’t help but think about that book as I watch the news. We must stand up to inequality and insist upon change for a more just society. We cannot give up. Inside this issue, we feature a series called Last Meal by the American artist and activist Jackie Black. She recreates the last meals of inmates on death row in Texas. These images are so stark and haunting for all the things that they do not show. This series is a protest and a conceptual masterpiece. We also look at the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, which presents some of the most exciting new voices in today’s photographic landscape. Phaidon releases a new title called In Memory Of which considers the challenges of designing contemporary memorials in an age of global conflict, isolation and terror. We also bring you six fantastic photographers, whose work spans a multitude of genres, styles and forms. These features question and disrupt the wider status quo. Open up, dive in and please enjoy! Cherie Federico
Art 14 News MK Gallery celebrates the lasting legacy of the Memphis Group, and The Photographers' Gallery presents a major retrospective of Sunil Gupta.
20 10 to See This edition, we spotlight John Gerrard's mirror installation as part of Galway International Arts Festival as well as NMWA's Women to Watch series.
24 Virtual Blueprints Mary & Davit Jilavyan spent the last few months of lockdown developing an imaginary village in Mexico filled with rainbow-coloured houses.
36 Striking Composition Jackie Black reproduces last meals of those who have been subjected to capital punishment. The photographer draws attention to social injustice.
42 Alluring Portraiture Zhong Lin is a Malaysian Chinese photographer whose works are categorised by strong, seductive visuals that redefine the very notion of style.
52 An Oasis for the Eyes Brad Walls provides an alternative perspective of swimming pools, using drone technology and aerial footage to capture the shapes and colours.
64 Abstract Metropolis George Byrne transforms cities through reduction and collage, rendering Californian streets with geometric minimalism and pastel palettes.
70 Objects in Disarray Pia Kintrup's horror vacui series speaks to the fear of empty space. Plastic bags and packaging are paired with onion skins and pistachio shells.
82 Symbols from Nature In the context of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, Maïmouna Guerresi addresses the importance of humans connecting with the organic world.
88 Fantasy in Reality Julie Blackmon’s works are intricately composed, with busy details and hectic scenarios. In these images, accidents are just a stone's throw away.
100 Physical Intervention Ulrich Hartmann is a fashion photographer who’s pushing boundaries with an Alice in Wonderlandesque imagination and avid attention to detail.
112 Towards Remembrance Phaidon's Editor-in-Chief Spencer Bailey asks questions about the art of the memorial in an age defined by division, disconnect and isolation.
118 Gallery Reviews As exhibitions begin to re-open once again, we provide coverage of shows at Hamiltons, London; Open Eye, Liverpool; and Foam Amsterdam.
122 A Decade of Film The Aesthetica Short Film Festival returns for the 10th Anniversary Edition, with a revolutionary new virtual format available from 3 to 30 November.
124 More to Discover Nana Adjoa's latest record, Big Dreaming Ants, examines the personal and political, responding to social media anxiety and neo-nationalism.
126 Extreme Climates Even the most beautiful cabin, whether it is tucked into the mountainside or resting precariously on a tundra, is, at its core, defined by human survival.
138 Inside this Issue The featured projects consider how to look at things differently, literally and figuratively, across photography, painting, performance and more.
146 Shoair Mavlian This year's Photoworks Festival rethinks the parameters of curation, providing a "portable" event that's accessible across the country.
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“Gritti” by Andrea Branzi 1981. Memphis Milano Collection. Bookcase in plastic laminate, wood, metal and glass. W. 340/380, D. 30, H. 203 cm. Photo: Aldo Ballo, Guido Cegani, Peter Ogilvie. Courtesy Memphis Srl.
Revisiting the 1980s MEMPHIS: PLASTIC FIELD In 1981, a new furniture collection was unveiled at Milan’s up our environment. As a result, they changed the entire “The group was Salone del Mobile. It was the world’s first taste of the Mem- course of design, fashion, architecture, music and film.” united by the desire Materials like plastic laminate and Terrazzo – previously to inject humour into phis Group – a young collective founded by Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007). The show was col- only used in kitchens and bathrooms – were suddenly design and subvert ourful, kitsch and geometric, unlike any of the other exhibits. incorporated into luxury furniture. This mixing of “high-end” expectations. Each It broke all the rules. From this moment onwards, Memphis and “low-end” was liberating, expanding the boundaries project was made to would challenge the established ideas of “good taste,” push- of what design could do. Monochrome patterns of graphic be playful and fun, shapes and squiggly lines paired with vivid yellow became taking inspiration ing against the modernist values of the 20th century. from movements such The Group was united by the desire to inject humour into an instant trademark. Although the movement was short lived – gaining limited as Pop Art, Bauhaus design and subvert expectations. Each project was made to be playful and fun, drawing inspiration from movements commercial success and sustained media critique – its and Art Deco.” such as Pop Art, Bauhaus and Art Deco. This re-assessment influence was pervasive. High-profile customers included and hybrid reworking of styles is definitive of the Postmod- Karl Lagerfeld, who furnished his Monte Carlo apartment ern period – taking from the past to create something new. with Sottsass’ first collection. Clashing colours, synthetic The result was an entirely fresh aesthetic, full of punch and materials and bold patterns became a key part of pop vitality. Previously upheld ideas of “form follows function” culture in the 1980s and early 1990s. They featured in TV were rewritten, as the look and feel of an object began to take shows such as Saved by the Bell and Miami Vice. Some of these ideas may seem dated today, as we move centre stage. Examples include a unit resembling a pixellated stick figure – made up of angular yellow, red and blue towards a more sustainable world of natural materials and squares. It could easily be mistaken for an abstract sculpture. minimalism. Despite this, MK Gallery invites audiences to “The Memphis Group dreamt of shattering the codes of the consider how Memphis Group’s values can be applied in Plastic Field 20th century,” says Anthony Spira, Director of MK Gallery, 2020 and beyond. Founding Memphis member Martine 21 November - 24 April which is hosting an exhibition of work dating from 1981 to Bedin once wrote: "Can we imagine a new world by drawing MK Gallery, Milton Keynes 1988. “Their vision was to drop a bomb on the rules of design another chair, another table, another light, another vase?" mkgallery.org and to renew the language of shapes and colours that make The Group invites us to reconsider, reinvent and rebuild.
The Decisive Moment HARRY GRUYAERT: IRISH SUMMERS as the eye is pulled into a constructed narrative. Images pop with bright reds, blues and yellows – connecting eclectic objects with intriguing visual connections. Inside a restaurant, a plush crimson sofa draws focus, jumping out against a diner’s mint green dress. Outdoors, sky blue walls clash with lemon yellow cars, phone boxes and signposts. Gruyaert famously noted: “I am interested in that strange magic that occurs when things come together. I look to form a connection to a place. I have to be moved by something,” Gallery Fifty One's exhibition is brimming with these spontaneous compositions. Gruyaert documents the fraction of a second – recognising the significance of an event as it passes by – spotting an opportunity at the exact right time. Figures are caught off-guard: in the middle of conversations, sharing picnics or snoozing on sandy beaches. Gallery Director, Roger Szmulewicz, notes: “Gruyaert expertly captures Henri Cartier-Bresson’s infamous ‘decisive moment.’” The photographs, which can also be experienced in an accompanying publication, often resemble paintings. In one shot, a brooding sky hangs heavy over the ocean. Clouds loom large in the distance, with shades of dark grey, blue and white blending like oils. These compositions crackle with tension, as Szmulewicz describes: “There is a striking kind of melancholy at play here, as if the captured moments and scenes will fade the second after the shutter clicks.”
“He became a pioneer in the field, with images often compared to poems or canvasses, for their colourful and nuanced details. Gruyaert has since been revered alongside Joel Meyerowitz, Saul Leiter and William Eggleston.”
Irish Summers Until 31 October Gallery Fifty One, Antwerp gallery51.com
Ireland, Galway, In a Pub, 1984. ©Harry Gruyaert , Courtesy Gallery FIFTY ONE.
Harry Gruyaert (b. 1941), grew up in a traditional Flemish family, forbidden to pursue a career in the arts. Later, he decided to go on the move – picking up a camera and discovering the lively cities of Europe. He became a pioneer in the field, with images often compared to poems or canvasses for their colourful and nuanced details. Gruyaert has since been revered alongside the likes of Joel Meyerowitz, Saul Leiter, Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, amongst others. These artists each broke new ground, finding beauty in everyday subjects such as street corners, shop fronts and gas stations. Gruyaert’s journeys, in particular, have resulted in a rich collection of works that document life in Belgium, France, India, Japan, Morocco, Russia, Spain and the USA. Irish Summers at Gallery Fifty One, Antwerp, comprises images taken on trips to Ireland – in a Volkswagen van – from 1983 to 1984. The collection is bursting with dynamic energy, capturing coastal scenes, street life and leisure. The series is also nostalgic – providing a time capsule of a period marked by wider political tensions. In these works, Gruyaert highlights precious moments of joy and respite between the conflicts. Families enjoy the seaside, running in and out of the water, climbing rocks and laughing in the sun. Irish Summers, perhaps most importantly, demonstrates the photographer’s longstanding interest in light and colour. Each composition shows an understanding of visual theory,
Don McCullin Liverpool © Don McCullin.
Meditative Landscapes DON MCCULLIN Don McCullin’s (b. 1935) childhood years were tumultu- have further resonance in Liverpool, especially now – when ous. He was born in St Pancras and grew up in Finsbury Park, people’s opportunities to travel are limited. Whilst the exhibibefore being evacuated to Somerset during the Blitz. Follow- tion covers the past 60 years, the issues of conflict, poverty ing the death of his father, he left school at the age of 15 and inequality are entirely relevant today.” For this occasion, Tate displays photographs of Liverpool – without qualifications – for a catering job on the railways, before being called up for National Service with the RAF in that have never before been seen, printed in McCullin’s dark 1953. In the years that followed, McCullin would become one room. The artist first came to the city at 15 years old, when he of Britain’s greatest living photographers, with a monumental was working on a steam train that travelled up from London portfolio that documents humanity in a range of public and three times a week. He returned as a photojournalist in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, documenting new developments private environments – as well as changing landscapes. He is, perhaps, best recognised for war photography – in the community, including the controversial slum clearance images of conflict taken at great personal risk – in the likes of of Toxteth. Entire swathes of the city were moved out of poor Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Lebanon and Republic of Biafra. living conditions. Whilst there's moments of light amongst McCullin’s oeuvre also includes depictions of unemploy- these hard-hitting images, Hemmes notes that “there's a conment and poverty across north London and its suburbs, cap- sistent sense of darkness reminiscent of the battlefield.” The exhibition is presented largely in chronological order, turing decaying buildings and families walking in the bitter cold. Then there’s sweeping natural landscapes depicted starting with works from Berlin as the wall construction began through dramatic monochrome – hills rolling into the dis- in 1961, through to McCullin’s final assignment in Iraq in tance – as well as travel and photojournalism assignments 1991. Southern Frontiers documented ruined buildings on the southern borders of the Roman Empire, in Lebanon, for the likes of The Observer and Sunday Times Magazine. This autumn, Tate Liverpool hosts a major retrospective of Morocco and Syria amongst others. After the Islamic State McCullin’s work – originally shown at Tate Britain in spring destroyed many ancient sites in Syria, McCullin went back to 2019 – presenting more than 250 photographs that grip the photograph the temples at Palmyra for a second time. This viewer and hold their gaze. Tamar Hemmes, Curator, expands is a vital show that will be sure to stay in viewers’ minds long on the show’s second iteration: “We felt that the work would after leaving, having considered what it means to be human.
“This autumn, Tate Liverpool hosts a major retrospective of McCullin's work – originally shown at Tate Britain in Spring 2019 – presenting more than 250 photographs that grip the viewer and hold their gaze.”
Don McCullin Until 9 May, Tate Liverpool tate.org.uk
Intersectional Photography JUST PICTURES
“Characteristic for Antwaun Sargent's cultural contributions, this new project is vibrant, fresh and full of life – a celebration of self-expression. It's a place where identity is fluid and definitions are mute.”
Just Pictures Until 21 November, projects+gallery, St Louis antwaunsargent.com
Yagazie Emezi, Lilith, 2020.
In 2019, critic and author Antwaun Sargent (a regular con- set their gaze on rethinking the possibility of photography tributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker and VICE) pub- by embracing its boundary-blurring potential. The resulting lished The New Black Vanguard, a landmark publication trac- work has an aesthetic all its own, and a power that is drawn ing the work of 15 innovative photographers who had just from the way that the images operate in many different conburst onto the scene. The collection addressed a history of texts – both photographically and culturally.” Examples include Nigerian-born Ruth Ossai, who creates exclusion in the industry, taking the September 2018 cover of American Vogue as its starting point (at just 23 years of vibrant portraits of friends, family and community members. age, Tyler Mitchell became the first black photographer to They are rooted in the joyful post-independence African shoot a cover.) Sargent’s book provoked essential dialogues studio portraiture of Malick Sidibé and the contemporary imagery of Mickalene Thomas, using fashion to celebrate about representation, sexuality, gender and identity. In both writing and curation, Sargent has continually cre- personal histories and cultural identity. Elsewhere, Arielle ated spaces for equitable exchange, novel hybridity and Bobb-Willis’s surreal compositions draw on figurative new models for thinking about the world, returning with a abstractions by 20th century modernist painters such as new exhibition, titled Just Pictures. This groundbreaking show Jacob Lawrence and Milton Avery, whilst Renell Medrano highlights genre-bending artists who work between fine art offers a new perspective on documentary photography. She and fashion, with many drawing on the history of photog- captures young women on the streets of her childhood in the raphy and reworking its parameters. Characteristic for Sar- Bronx and her familial homeland, the Dominican Republic. gent’s cultural contributions, this new project is vibrant, fresh For Sargent, the power of these compositions lies in their and full of life – a celebration of self-expression. It’s a place fluidity. “The way these pieces move rapidly between conwhere identity becomes fluid and definitions are mute. texts, garnering new and often contradictory meanings, The collection addresses a range of themes including allows them to simultaneously operate as racial representadesire, beauty and daily life. Sargent explains: “I am particu- tions whilst also being discrete product shots, documentalarly interested in bringing together young image-makers tions of family and glossies of the latest fashion trends. For who are working between the commercial and conceptual this generation of emerging image-makers, the photograby creating worlds entirely their own – photographers who pher’s eye is illimitable: a picture is just a picture.”
Sunil Gupta, Untitled #11, 2008. From the series The New Pre-Raphaelites. Courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Vadehra Art Gallery © Sunil Gupta. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020.
Subverting Expectations SUNIL GUPTA: FROM HERE TO ETERNITY Sunil Gupta (b. 1953) was born in New Delhi, before residing for several years in Montreal, and studying at the Royal College of Art, London. Throughout a renowned and varied artistic career, he has utilised photography as a critical practice – focusing on family, race, migration and the political realities concerning the fight for international gay rights. Gupta has been inspirational to generations of activists and campaigners, from participating in New York’s active Gay Liberation Movement in the 1970s to his more recent campaigning for gay liberation in India. These projects have been instrumental in raising awareness of taboo culture – offering a new understanding of the ways in which homosexual life is presented, seen, and perceived in the modern world. This autumn, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, presents the artist’s first major retrospective. This seminal exhibition tackles some of the important themes of our time, including racial equality, body politics and LGBTQ+ rights. “For Gupta, photography became a process of affirming his identity and a tool for political activism. It was in his native country that he learned to abandon the modes of conventional, representational photographic practice. From 1984 onward, Gupta actively pursued visual inquiries that engaged the intimacy, humanity, and everyday realities of gay life wherever his diasporic identity was located. He continually had to negotiate his position from the perspective of the outsider – wheth-
er he was living in India, North America or Europe – within “Sunil Gupta's varied social, political and cultural movements," notes Anna projects have been Dannemann, Senior Curator at The Photographers' Gallery. instrumental in The exhibition includes a number of key series, ranging raising awareness of from experimentations in analogue street photography to taboo and stereotype early investigations into digital photographic formats. The culture – presenting most compelling works, perhaps, come from the exhibition’s a new understanding title series. From Here to Eternity (1999) includes mural-sized of the ways in which portraits which were produced following Gupta’s diagnosis homosexual life is as HIV positive in 1995. Emotive and striking, these composi- presented, seen and tions highlight the artist's experiences of living with the virus, perceived in the coming to terms with his own mortality, and receiving mixed modern world.” responses from individuals in his immediate community. Meanwhile, Memorials (1995), a never-before-seen series, commemorates the victims of homophobic hate crimes, paying homage to their pain, whilst spreading the message of continued injustice and suffering. Similarly important is Reflections of the Black Experience (1986), which illustrates various facets of black people’s experiences living and work- From Here to Eternity ing in London. Now 34 years old, the series is just as relevant 9 October - 24 January today and demonstrates Gupta’s monumental contribution The Photographers' to the art world; this seminal series eventually led to the Gallery, London formation of Autograph – the Association of Black Photographers – an organisation devoted to contesting the discrimi- thephotographers nation of marginalised photographers across the UK. gallery.org.uk
A Global Discussion 1-54 CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART FAIR
“The 2020 edition – a hybrid model with both physical and digital components – welcomes 35 international exhibitors from across Europe, Africa and North America. It showcases more than 110 artists.”
1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, 8-10 October Somerset House, London 1-54.com
Prince Gyasi, Crumple Zone. Photography (fuji crystal archive brillant). Edition of 10 + 4 AP. 46x61 cm. Courtesy of Prince Gyasi & Nil Gallery.
1-54 is the first international art fair dedicated to contempo- rate and define. “The ties between Africa, Afro-Latin America rary art from Africa and its diaspora, founded by Touria El and the Caribbean have never before been a focus of 1-54 Glaoui (b. 1974). Annual editions have been held in London Forum, but it is an incredibly important and dynamic area to since 2013, New York since 2015 and Marrakech since 2018, explore. On 8 October, we’re presenting an online keynote offering a dynamic platform that is engaged in contempo- by Aldeide Delgado (Founder and Director of Women Phorary dialogue and exchange. The name of the fair references tographers International Archive) who discusses the implications and opportunities of the expression ‘Latinx.’” the 54 countries on the African continent. Whilst 2020 has been a monumental year – with global El Glaoui (born in Morocco) started her career in the banking industry. Parallel to this, she co-curated a number of protests against social and racial injustice, the art world is still exhibitions with her father, the well-known figurative painter rife with misrepresentation and exclusivity, and 1-54 is keen Hassan El Glaoui. “I am the daughter of an artist – my home to play its part: “Discussions absolutely need to continue. was surrounded by art, telling powerful stories about who we We are dedicated to initiating and supporting on-going discourse relating to contemporary art from Africa and its global are as Africans, and our complex history,” she notes. In essence, the fair reflects this, considering how the nar- diaspora. Since the fair’s inception we have done this through rative of Africa is being told, and who telling it. The 2020 1-54 Forum – a public programme of talks and screenings edition – a hybrid model with both physical and digital com- which accompanies the exhibitions. This year, we’ve curated a ponents – welcomes 35 international exhibitors from across mixture of in-person and online events, organised by Yvette Europe, Africa and North America. It showcases more than Mutumba and Julia Grosse (founding editors of Contempo110 artists in-situ at Somerset House and online, with careful- rary and (C&) América Latina. The programme engages with ly curated selections that untangle problematic stereotypes. Afro-Latin American, Caribbean and African perspectives.” This year’s edition is sure to inspire, with vital exhibitions “Our committee deliberates every application submitted. They question the gallery’s approach to ‘African aesthetics’ for a world waking up. As El Glaoui states: “Seeing a range of ethnicities is the only way we will see changes in the art inor other reductive notions,” El Glaoui explains. As such, intersectionality is a key focus of this year’s pro- dustry, but also with the relationship between Africa and the gramme, as well as considerations of what it means to sepa- western canon. There’s a lot of progress still yet to be made.”
10 to See RECOMMENDED EXHIBITIONS THIS SEASON
2020 has been a year like no other. Our list of 10 autumn shows spans physical and virtual platforms, and digs into the hard-hitting realities of the last 12 months. Sculpture, photography and digital installation act as a mechanism to make sense of a rapidly changing world.
THE END OF FUN! IKON Gallery, Birmingham | Until 22 November
ikon-gallery.org “I am well-aware of our responsibility towards drastic changes in climate and species extinction. It is our shame, it is my shame.” Krištof Kintera’s (b. 1973) practice strikes a balance between triviality and fatality. THE END OF FUN! transforms living organisms into kinetic sculptures made from metal, light bulbs and plugs. A herd of crowd-control antlers are made with tubular steel. A model landscape is interconnected like a nervous system. A crow dressed in black squawks "Just Do It." This is art at its most impactful – alienating and thought-provoking.
America 1970s / 80s Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin | 9 October - 16 May
helmut-newton-foundation.org/en After taking a full-time position at the French edition of Vogue in 1961, Helmut Newton (1920-2004) also worked in for the magazine’s American edition. During this time, he produced work in both Europe and the USA. Simultaneously, Sheila Metzner, Evelyn Hofer and Joel Meyerowitz were using dye-transfer and large-format cameras to document street scenes, panoramas, interiors, fashion and portraits. This exhibition ties together the threads of these four renowned photographers, who all shared a special relationship and passion for images.
Mirror Pavilion Galway International Arts Festival, Co. Galway | 11-31 October
giaf.ie John Gerrard (b. 1974) has exhibited all over the world from LACMA to Somerset House, with works centred around digital simulations and real-time computer graphics. For Galway International Arts Festival, Gerrard has produced Mirror Pavilion – a dual installation that employs gaming technology to create virtual worlds that simulate landscapes. Corn Work is unveiled at the historic Claddagh Quay; Leaf Work at the 4,000-year-old Derrigimlagh Bog in Connemara. The two pieces reflect and respond to the landscape through high-resolution LED.
#ICPconcerned International Center of Photography, New York | Until 31 December
icp.org On 20 March 2020, the International Center of Photography, New York, announced an open call for images as the pandemic unfolded. The hashtag #ICPconcerned was named after ICP’s founding principle to champion socially and politically minded works that have the power to change the world. As confirmed cases in New York reached 10,000, ICP’s initiative also reached 10,000 posts on Instagram. The resulting online exhibition pairs photojournalism with fine art – presenting anger, despair, confusion, boredom, loneliness, strength and resolve.
This is America Kunsthalkade, Amersfoort | Until 3 January
kunsthalkade.nl The murder of George Floyd sparked global protests about police brutality. By September 2020, over six million people in the USA had been diagnosed with Covid-19, with just over 200,000 deaths. On 3 November 2020, the country will elect their new president: Donald Trump or Joe Biden. This is a pivotal moment that decides the future of a fractured government. Kunsthal KAdE invites artists to respond, asking what it’s like to create in a nation torn apart by political opposition, racial tensions, reductive legislation and sharp wealth divides.
Choose Colour! Kunstmuseum Den Haag | Until 28 February
kunstmuseum.nl What we wear dictates the way we feel and how we are seen by others. Clothes spark conversations. They tell us more about someone’s identity, style, tastes and ideas. Kunstmuseum’s lively exhibition comprises items from the museum’s collection, using fashion to explore the symbolism of colour and the emotions that it represents. Here, colour can be harmonious, jarring, eye-catching, invigorating and soothing. This show calls upon the entire rainbow to provoke the notions of comfort, connection and hope at the time we need them most.
Shofuso and Modernism
Hassan Hajjaj: The Path
Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia | Until 1 December
japanphilly.org Junzō Yoshimura (1908-1997) was a Japanese architect deeply inspired by the Shoin-zukuri movement – a concept that incorporated square posts, elaborate wood panelling and floors covered with Tatami mats. In 1953, Yoshimura secured a major project to design a traditional Tea House in the garden of MoMA, New York. Shofuso – now housed permanently with the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia – is an authentic re-creation of the style. This exhibition builds on Yoshimura’s wider influences, including Antonin and Noémi Raymond.
Arnolfini, Bristol | Until 1 November
arnolfini.co.uk Ekow Eshun is a renowned broadcaster, curator and writer, former Director of ICA London and author of the Africa State of Mind – a compendium of emerging photographers from the continent. For the latest iteration of this touring exhibition, he explores the dual identity of Hassan Hajjaj (b. 1961), playfully known as the “Andy Warhol of Marrakech.” The show includes three major photographic series that subvert notions of subjugation, mono-cultures and stereotypes, reflecting on the artist’s travels between Britain, Africa and the Middle East.
NMWA, Washington DC | 8 October - 18 January
nmwa.org World consumption of paper has grown by 400 per cent over the last 40 years, with 35 per cent of total trees cut being used within the paper industries. After all this mass-production, where does it all go? What will it be used for? Will it have a positive or negative impact? As part of NMWA’s sixth instalment of the Women to Watch series, 22 outreach committees select a number of innovative practitioners who respond to the many uses and cultural associations of paper – from protest signs and banners to packaging, lottery tickets, cards and wallpaper.
Aesthetica Art Prize York Art Gallery | Until 22 February
yorkartgallery.org.uk The 2020 edition of the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition includes 18 artists that respond to today’s key issues, unpacking the layers of our digitised, globalised planet. The featured projects ask poignant questions about what it means to be a human today: how has the selfie altered our sense of personal identity? What value do we place on being individuals? What are the consequences of altering weather patterns? These works are part of a wider line of enquiry into our changing world, across painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation.
1. Krištof Kintera, My Light is Your Life – Shiva Samurai (2009), electronic controlled lights. Courtesy the artist. 2. Helmut Newton, Sigourney Weaver, Los Angeles, 1983. © Helmut Newton Estate. 3. John Gerrard, Mirror Pavilion, featuring Corn Work on an LED screen, pictured at Claddagh Quay, Galway. Photo: Colm Hogan. 4. Omotayo Tajudeen, No Visitors Allowed, Photo of a man standing at his gate in Lagos. April 17, 2020, Somolu, Lagos, Nigeria. © Omotayo Tajudeen. 5. Theaster Gates, Where Black Power Lives, Gary, IN, For Freedoms, 50 State Initiative, 2018. Photographed by Madeleine Thomas. 6. David Laport, Dress, 2018. Courtesy Jasper Abels. Photo: Jasper Abels; styling Maarten Spruyt and Lisa Anna Stuyfzand; model: Muna Mahamed. 7. Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, September 2 – December, 2020, japanphilly. org. 8. Dotted Peace, 2000 by Hassan Hajjaj. © Hassan Hajjaj courtesy of the artist and New Art Exchange. Hassan Hajjaj: The Path is a touring exhibition by New Art Exchange, Nottingham, curated by Ekow Eshun. 9. Echiko Ohira, Untitled (paper and thread #3), 20162017; Tea-stained blueprint, cardboard, thread and glue, 39 x 39 x 11 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Gene Ogami. 10. Rhea Storr, A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message. Courtesy of the artist.
Virtual Blueprints Mary & Davit Jilavyan
“We wanted to create a place with no clear system; the houses are located chaotically, each following its own colourful path. This concept community is free from prejudice. There’s no place for racism, sexism or humiliation. The Sonora Art Village is what we lack in reality.” Moscow-based design duo Mary & Davit Jilavyan spent lockdown developing an imaginary neighbourhood in Mexico, constructing a rainbow village through threedimensional visualisation. Bold, geometric buildings are scattered amongst rippling swimming pools, bulbous cacti and arid desert. Block façades are rendered in lemon yellow, vivid orange, mint green and pastel pink, whilst staircases, walkways, planters and bridges cut across the land in seeming disarray. Meanwhile, semi-circular arches and passageways create a variety of textures and layers, hinting towards the architecture of Luis Barragán and Ricardo Bofill. behance.net/davidjilavyan | behance.net/majig.
Mary & Davit Jilavyan, from the series Sonora Art Village.
Mary & Davit Jilavyan, from the series Sonora Art Village.
Mary & Davit Jilavyan, from the series Sonora Art Village.
Mary & Davit Jilavyan, from the series Sonora Art Village.
Mary & Davit Jilavyan, from the series Sonora Art Village.
Mary & Davit Jilavyan, from the series Sonora Art Village.
Mary & Davit Jilavyan, from the series Sonora Art Village.
Mary & Davit Jilavyan, from the series Sonora Art Village.
Striking Composition Last Meal JACKIE BLACK CONSIDERS THE WIDER ISSUES OF MORALITY, JUSTICE AND INNOCENCE, RECREATING THE LAST MEALS OF THOSE SUBJECTED TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN TEXAS.
Jackie Black’s photographs examine the ambiguity of mor- sumption of federal executions: on 14 July 2020, the Justice tality in American culture. On display at the Parrish Art Department executed death row prisoner Daniel Lewis Lee Museum, New York, Last Meal is the artist’s commentary via lethal injection, ending a 17-year informal moratorium on capital punishment. A series of powerful 12 x 12-inch on federal capital murder. Months into the current movement images recreate the last meals and statements of 23 indi- for social and racial justice – against police brutality and viduals who were tried, convicted and executed in Texas state-sanctioned violence – the issue remains largely absent under capital punishment between 1984 and 2001. At from public discourse. In the USA, blackness is often conflatfirst glance, they read as staged food photos on a glossy ed with guilt and criminality. Our country is finally acknowldiner menu. However, suspended against stark black back- edging this fact and attempting to dismantle the systems grounds in a gallery setting – with no suggestion of social that enable it. This is a good thing, but it’s also where the amor human interaction – the images are transformed into biguity of mortality comes into play. The anger propelling macabre still lifes. Savannah Petrick, Curatorial Assistant the Black Lives Matter movement is often only ignited when and Publications Coordinator, discusses Black’s work in the there’s a precondition of innocence: Ahmaud Arbery was out context of the USA today – in a country that has had 170 for a jog, Breonna Taylor was asleep in her home, Botham exonerations since 1973, and 1,522 executions since 1976. Jean was having ice cream on his couch, Stephon Clark was standing in his grandmother’s backyard, and 12-year-old A: By 2019, 106 countries had abolished the death pen- Tamir Rice was playing in a park. If the victim isn’t totally alty, but in 2020, 53 countries still practice capital pun- “innocent” (a.k.a. non-threatening), then it’s the discord between the severity of the punishment – death – and the petishment. What role does it play in the USA today? SP: Prior to the election of Donald Trump, it seemed the USA tiness of the alleged crime, be it selling loose cigarettes or was on its way to becoming a less punitive nation; in 2016, paying with a counterfeit bill, that garners a public reaction. the Pew Research Center reported that public support of the death penalty had fallen to 49% – the lowest it has been A: How does the Last Meal series interact with this history? since the 1970s. Then, during the 2016 election – alongside SP: Prison abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore writes: “Whilst Trump’s “tough on crime” campaign – all three states with saving anyone is a good thing to do, to try to assert innodeath penalty referendums voted in favour of capital pun- cence as a key political strategy is to turn a blind eye to ishment: California and Oklahoma voted to keep it, and Ne- the system and how it works. [The problem] is not to figure braska voted to reinstate it (figures taken from Jackie Wang’s out how to determine or prove the innocence of certain inCarceral Capitalism, 2018). More concerning is the recent re- dividuals, but to attack the general system through which
Jackie Black (American, b. 1958), Karla Faye Tucker: Banana, peach, and garden salad with ranch dressing from the Last Meal series (2001–2003). Archival pigment on paper, 12 x 12 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, N.Y., Museum purchase with funds provided by the Bessemer Trust. Photos: Courtesy of the artist.
“Though the meals are presented on a plain black background, the photographs aren't shown anonymously; each picture is paired with the last statement and execution date of the individual as well as background information.”
Previous Page: Jackie Black (American, b. 1958), Johnny Frank Garrett: Ice cream from the Last Meal series (2001–2003). Archival pigment on paper, 12 x 12 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, N.Y., Museum purchase with funds provided by the Bessemer Trust. Photos: Courtesy of the artist. Left: Jackie Black (American, b. 1958), Billy Conn Gardner: Hamburger, French fries, tea and any dessert from the Last Meal series (2001–2003). Archival pigment on paper, 12 x 12 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, N.Y., Museum purchase withfunds provided by the Bessemer Trust. Photos: Courtesy of the artist.
alcohol or tobacco were permitted. I would posit that the similarities between some last meals are due to statewide limitations. The disparities between, say, David Wayne Stoker’s request for two double-meat cheeseburgers, french fries, and ice cream, and Robert Anthony Madden’s request for his last meal to be given to a homeless person (request denied), might reflect a difference in interpretation and attitude toward impending execution. Jackie Black focuses on Texas because the state is responsible for almost 40% of all federal executions in the USA. Her selection of individuals is reflective of statewide and national patterns; nine of the 23 individuals in Last Meal are black; 44.3% of inmates on death row in Texas are black, though the state’s black population is just under 13% (Texas A: The images are at once incredibly similar, especially Department of Criminal Justice). Likewise, as of 1 January in their composition, but entirely different with the 2020, 41.6% of the current USA death row population is foods they depict. How do you feel the subtlety be- black, whilst the black population in the USA is just 13.4%. tween them creates their stark power? SP: The pictures are similar in that they all document A: The artist utilises a sterile black background, last meal requests of individuals on death row in Texas stripping the meals back, showcasing them without executed between 1984 and 2001. Texas actually adornment or extra detail. What does this say about abolished the traditional last meal request in 2011, after the presentation of the individuals in relation to crime? Lawrence Russell Brewer requested a huge meal that he did SP: Though the meals are presented on a plain backnot eat. Texan Senator John Whitmire said of his decision: ground, the images aren’t shown anonymously; each pic“Enough is enough. It is extremely inappropriate to give a ture is paired with the last statement and execution date of person sentenced to death such a privilege. It's a privilege the individual, as well as background information – such as which the perpetrator did not provide to their victim.” (Texas level of education and occupation – where available. The Jails Abolish Last Meals After Uneaten Banquet, BBC, 23 alleged crimes are, notably, left out. I believe this choice September 2011). Prior to this decision, no dollar limit was reflects Black’s desire to actually preserve the humanity placed on an inmate’s last meal request, but food items of the individuals, since humanity and innocence are inhad to be readily available in the prison kitchen, and no extricably linked in American culture. At Parrish, we made criminalisation proceeds.” The photographs in Last Meal do this with subtlety. Jackie Black does not overreach; she does not attempt to exonerate any of the individuals, nor do the pictures explicitly address ethical issues surrounding the death penalty. However, in the book accompanying the series, the artist presents facts and figures about capital punishment, as well as the last statements and biographical information about the 23 individuals, such as age, occupation and level of educations, where available. The exhibition at Parrish likewise includes this information and the most recent fact sheet published by the Death Penalty Information Center, alerting visitors to the myriad ways in which the death penalty is inhumane.
Jackie Black (American, b. 1958), Charles William Bass: Plain cheese sandwich from the Last Meal series (2001–2003). Archival pigment on paper, 12 x 12 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, N.Y., Museum purchase with funds provided by the Bessemer Trust. Photos: Courtesy of the artist.
shake, and one quart milk – a request so large it’s staged as the only diptych in the exhibition. Then there’s Stacey Lamont Lawton’s request for one jar of dill pickles and Gerald Lee Mitchell’s request for one bag of assorted Jolly Ranchers, both of which resonate for their oddity. The case that has the greatest impact for me, personally, is that of James Beathard: after his trial, the prosecution’s key witness A: Which images do you feel, most successfully, instil recanted his testimony, casting doubt on an already faulty empathy and why? Do they all have the exact same case. Three members of the parole board recommended clemency for Beathard. Nonetheless, he was executed. His effect, or are there some that have more impact? SP: I find Odell Barnes, Jr.’s last meal request for “Jus- last meal was fried catfish, fried chicken, french fries, onion tice, Equality, World Peace” and Robert Anthony Mad- rings, green salad, fresh carrots and a coke. den’s request for his last meal to be given to a homeless person (request denied) to be the most successful, both A: The images may, at first, seem banal, but viewers are for their purity (I too am guilty of linking innocence pulled in through morbid curiosity. How does Black with humanity) and for their textual composition, which pique audiences' interests, and to what end? offers a reprieve from the diner menu aesthetic of the SP: The photographs are undoubtedly inspired by Dutch other photographs. There is also something quite com- Vanitas, or symbolic works of art showing the transience of pelling about the defeatist simplicity of Charles Francis life, the futility of pleasure and the certainty of death. The Rumbaugh’s request for one flour tortilla and Charles seeming fruitlessness of pleasure is particularly apparent William Bass’ request for a plain cheese sandwich, both in the photographs I previously describe as “awfully pitiful” of which look awfully pitiful on the black background. in that the individuals seem to have already resigned from their lives on earth. Widespread fascination with last meal A: Beyond the food, these meals signify something requests is just another form of American consumerism, much larger. How do they reflect the emotions of the not so different from the way we sensationalise the lives of individual in question – their psychological states, celebrities. It’s an obsession with someone’s life we perceive to be vastly different from our own, and I can understand guilt, resentment, or in many cases, innocence? SP: Empathy comes in many forms. I can relate to the more why people criticise this obsession as being nothing more indulgent meals, such as David Allen Castillo’s request for than voyeurism. But we are reminding audiences that 24 soft shell tacos, six enchiladas, six tostadas, two whole capital murder does still occur, carving out space for the onions, five jalapeños, two cheeseburgers, one chocolate debate in our country’s larger movement for social justice. the curatorial decision to likewise omit the alleged crimes in support of the artist’s goal. To me, the stage-lit meals become ominous on the stark black background – carrying with them a sense of doom that is appropriate for the occasion. With no purpose other than human consumption, the items appear as leftovers of a rapture.
Right: Jackie Black (American, b. 1958), William Joseph Kitchens: Half dozen sunny side up fried eggs, 8 pieces of pan sausage, 6 slices toast with butter and grape jelly, crispy hash browns, milk, orange juice from the Last Meal series (2001–2003). Archival pigment on paper, 12 x 12 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, N.Y., Museum purchase with funds provided by the Bessemer Trust. Photos: Courtesy of the artist.
Words Kate Simpson
Jackie Black: Last Meal Until 31 January Parrish Art Museum, New York parrishart.org
Alluring Portraiture Zhong Lin
Zhong Lin is a Malaysian Chinese photographer whose works are categorised by strong, seductive and surprising visuals. Her images â€“ which have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and Marie Claire â€“ expand the definitions of fashion and beauty portraiture. They play with materiality and physicality in innovative ways. Lin paints Kusama-like dots on the body and fills bathtubs with milky water. She balances a glass precariously on the forehead and wraps faces with dried-out leaves. Elsewhere, delicate orchid petals sit on top of eyelids, tendrils hanging downwards like flames. Ink squiggles across the skin like brushstrokes. Throughout the months of lockdown, Lin embarked on a new project, posting an image every day on Instagram without fail. The resulting feed is ablaze with rich blues, striking reds and pale greens. Log on for daily inspiration; these images redefine glamour, style and artistry. instagram.com/zhonglin_.
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@ bigwang13) Make up: Sunny Hsu (@sunnyhsu734) Model: Asano Sakaki (@asanosakaki).
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@bigwang13) Make up: Shin Tsai (@shintsaimakeup) Hair: Dennis Fei (@dennisfei_official) Model: Bo Hsuan Lee (@6bl_lb).
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@bigwang13) Make up: Shin (@shintsaimakeup). Hair: Dennis Fei (@dennisfei_official) Models Bo Hsuan Lee (@6bl_lb) and Lucia (@luciaaaaa66).
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@bigwang13).
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@bigwang13).
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@bigwang13) Make up: Fiona Li (@fio_na_li) Model: Chen Shin (@ooxx_shin).
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@bigwang13) Make up: Fiona Li (@fio_na_li) Model: Lucia (@luciaaaaa66).
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@bigwang13) Sherry Liu (@sherry860706) Make up: Sunny Hsu (@sunnyhsu734) Hair: Odye Wang (@odyeweng) Stylist: Mark Jen Hsu (@markjenhsu) Model: Bo Hsuan Lee (@6bl_lb).
Photographer: Zhong Lin (@zhonglin_) Photography Assistant: Yuanling Wang (@bigwang13).
An Oasis for the Eyes Brad Walls
Brad Walls stumbled across a passion for aerial content whilst experimenting with one of the first consumer drones. Within 12 months, he had established a unique style, approaching photography with a minimal aesthetic. Walls has since been named as a featured artist for the Inaugural 2020 Aerial Photography Awards, Asnières-sur-Seine, and has been shortlisted for the Drone Photo Contest in Siena. Pools from Above, his latest project, is an ode to the shapes, colours and textures of swimming pools. The images were influenced by Annie Kelly’s book Splash (2018, Rizzoli New York), which celebrates intriguing designs, from landscaped back gardens to tropical waterfalls. Walls was immediately struck by the tiled steps, patterned surfaces and decoration: “I fell in love with the lines, curves and negative space, which – without this alternate perspective – would have been lost.” bradscanvas.com.
Brad Walls, Quater Pi. Courtesy of the artist.
Brad Walls, A Summer's Past. Courtesy of the artist.
Brad Walls, Cosmo. Courtesy of the artist.
Brad Walls, Momentum. Courtesy of the artist.
Brad Walls, Babylon. Courtesy of the artist.
Brad Walls, A Palm Springs Ting. Courtesy of the artist.
Brad Walls, Survival Juice. Courtesy of the artist.
Brad Walls, A Candy Pool. Courtesy of the artist.
Abstract Metropolis George Byrne URBAN MINIMALISM IS GROWING IN POPULARITY THROUGH THE RISE OF INSTAGRAM. GEORGE BYRNE'S IMAGES BUILD ON THIS FASCINATION, TAKING IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL.
George Byrne (b. 1976) creates large-scale images that depict Californian landscapes as painterly abstractions. Comparable to the works of Lewis Baltz and Ellsworth Kelly, Byrne’s collage-like photographs utilise the process of reduction; flattened lines and interjectory shadows become part of a wider dimensional puzzle that revels in texture. Byrne provides an alluring interplay between concrete and colour that is at once minimal and deeply complex. Surfaces become a hive of possibility. The banal metropolis is translated into a multitonal playground, through abandoned sidewalks, luminous bollards and pastel awnings, the seemingly anonymous nature of Los Angeles architecture is illuminated. Ian Volner is a New York-based editor and journalist who is well-versed in the nuances of architecture and design, and the way it communicates the human condition. He is the author of This is Frank Lloyd Wright (Laurence King Publishing), Philip Johnson: A Visual Biography (Phaidon) and The Great Great Wall (Abrams Books). He has also written for Harper’s Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic and Architect Magazine, amongst others. Volner discusses Byrne’s practice in the context of contemporary culture, with the release of the Post Truth, published 1 November. A: How did George Byrne’s artistic career begin? IV: Byrne moved to California a decade ago, but he was born and raised near Sydney, Australia, about as far out of town as one can get. As such, a large part of Byrne’s earlier work consists of images of New South Wales – where he received a conservatory degree from the Sydney College
of the Arts in 2001 and first came into contact with the work of David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, and a whole cavalcade of west coast artists who, more or less, invented LA in the artistic imagination. Growing up in the dynamic Byrne household meant there was always creativity in the air, and a bit of Hollywood as well: two of his sisters have gone on to have careers in the arts, and a third is now an actress. The subjectivity that inhabits Byrne’s work grows, unquestionably, from his cultural consciousness. The effect of his whole corpus is to conjure a very particular variety of viewing – a mind at play in a singular, 21st century urban landscape – seeing it all through a highly specialised lens. A: Byrne's influences are far-ranging and diverse, drawing from contemporary culture through the lens of film and television, as well as the historical – referencing more traditional painting and photography. How does he make sense of these inspirations and where do they come to play within these bright, poppy aesthetics? IV: Indeed, it’s almost impossible to speak about Byrne’s work without speaking about its references – Hockney, Matisse and Ruscha, of course, but also Edward Hopper, Paolo Monti, James Casebere and even Wes Anderson. In a fully surf-able world – where everything is a click away from everything else – Byrne creates photographs that are indexes of modern visual culture, embracing the image-obsessed tumult of the Online Age – and translating it into superb artistry. A: The artist draws from an interest in digital platforms,
George Byrne, 50 Desert Pit Stop, 2018.
“Born in the mid 1970s, Byrne is a generational cusper for whome digital media is basically reflexive, yet still strange enough to be interesting. His subject matter has been coloured by social media.”
Previous Page: George Byrne, 71st St. Miami, 2019. Left: George Byrne, 35 Bank of America #2, 2018.
having come of age with the technological revolution. Where do these images sit within the “canon” of art? IV: Born in the mid-1970s, Byrne is a generational cusper for whom digital media is basically reflexive, yet still strange enough to be interesting. His subject matter has been coloured by social media – and by a playful search for how that medium sits in relation to “high art” (if such a thing still exists). This much accounts for his techniques, as well as his objective: roaming the streetscape, collecting fragmentary visions and opportunistic snapshots of urban scenes captured in exquisite high definition (and usually in direct sunlight). He then returns to his studio, to the computer, and laboriously sifts through these sharp, contrast-heavy images, and chooses various elements from them. He then starts to meddle, using photographic software to cut, paste, re-colour and generally monkey around. This process is not only the product of digital technology, but fodder for it. Byrne posts many images, in various stages of completion, to his Instagram account, where they routinely draw “oohs” and “ahs” from a substantial number of followers.
the arm’s-width, shoulder-height pieces, and their scale and illusionist intrigue have made Byrne especially in demand for private commissions. However, even in their final, analogue format – fabulously crisp, archival pigment prints that roll hot off Byrne’s Epson press – the images do not shake off their digital identity. On the one hand, there is their uncanny artificiality – hovering at times just an inch from painting – inviting the viewer to lean in to figure out how and where the manipulation went down. On the other hand, there is deft composition, a geometric and tonal logic that is instantly apprehensible and therefore optimally suited to scrolling on an iPhone. Flatness, structural rigor, chromatic panache: these all add up to optics that are attuned to the small screen. When Byrne imports these computerised confections into the real world, the stunning ink-and-paper works seem almost like pixellated mirages, shimmering against the white wall of the gallery. Their eminent "internet-ness" is not just visual.
A: Artists have long toyed with the concepts of reality and artifice, imagining new worlds and altering the states of landscapes. What other techniques are at play here? A: Since lockdown, virtual exhibitions are hugely popu- IV: Without attempting to discern what is “real” and what is lar, with millions of viewers going online to view artworks “invention” (which would probably be fruitless in any case), in new, interactive ways. Over the last few years, Byrne what is most immediately striking is the four-square, almost has achieved an impressive following online, but also mechanistic relationship of image-to-picture plane. The places work in a number of physical galleries. How does roadway, the buildings, the slash of sky – the three major his practice critically assess a new way of “viewing” art fields are perfectly rectilinear to the frame, treated more as in the 21st century? Is there a best way to “see” the work? horizontal registers than as features in a receding, threeIV: Certainly, their physical presence is astonishing: at the dimensional perspective. Historically, this technique might artist’s most recent New York solo exhibition – at Olsen Gruin sound familiar: it bears a strong resemblance to Cubism, and Gallery – a visitor felt they could all but fall into any one of its “flatness and opacity of the literal surface,” as Rosalind E.
George Byrne, 48 Pink Awning with Orange , 2018.
Krauss put it, “that anticipates collage.” However, using software like scissors, Byrne goes one step further in this concept of transformation, setting the figurative elements of pilaster, stanchion and palm trees into a complementary arrangement that, for sheer gratification, echoes yet another art-historical standby, the cut-outs of Henri Matisse; and lastly, just for good measure, he tunes his palette to a splashy, florid pitch that is unmistakably David Hockney-esque. Et voila: the Byrne Effect, in all its beguiling splendour.
exclusively by street signs pointing to nowhere, empty disabled parking spaces next to closed storefronts stretching clear to the horizon. This brave new world is hiding in plain sight; all you need to see it is the right set of eyes. Fortunately, George Byrne provides them. Whatever we were before, Byrne’s work transforms us into something like an obsessive flâneur prowling an unreal, unpeopled streetscape, full of confounding and often misleading information.
A: Beyond a multitude of cultural references, complex A: Though the images are sparsely populated, digital techniques and alluring aesthetics, what is it allowing the viewer room to revel in bleach blue skies about these images that really pulls viewers in, drawing and intersecting shadows, they offer many “signs” – thousands of "likes" and new followers on Instagram. unique details that capture a sense of isolation, or, at Why are we so interested in the “urban sublime”? times, abandonment. Posters point to nowhere. Doors IV: Byrne reduces the city to its material quintessence: metal lead to abandoned buildings. How do these objects safety treads meeting spray paint meeting cracked cement. He pares everything back, leaving nothing but pastel-onexplore the state of "progress" in cities today? IV: In the 2002 essay, Junkspace, architect and theorist stucco. We have seen these things before, of course, but that Rem Koolhaas states that “Junkspace” is what remains after is precisely what gives the work its unsettling undertow – its modernisation has run its course, or, more precisely, it is what Post Truth, as Byrne titled a previous exhibition – disclosing coagulates whilst modernisation is in progress; it is fallout. a deeper truth about the cities we inhabit and how we inhabit Koolhaas (who, incidentally, also relied on photographs to them. He manages to induce an eerily familiar mental state document this phenomenon) was describing a variety of – an encounter with the city bound to send a chill down the often-viewed but uncategorised, quasi-architectural residue: spine of anyone who has ever spent a lonely afternoon cement planters behind the gas station; a sheltered wedge in Las Palmas, or on the eastern reaches of Chinatown, or of sidewalk under the marquee of a retail bank; the farthest drifting up North Gower at five o’clock, under the spreading end of the airport departure lane, beyond the smoker’s darkness of the hills. The mysterious figure, we realise with corner: this is the spatial flotsam of the Anthropocene. Year a start, is us. Young or old, west coast or not, we all become in and year out, “junkspace” multiplies at an inordinate rate. the anonymous stalker at some point in time: standing at Its volume is now so great that it is possible to imagine a the intersection with a phone pressed to our face, trying to landscape composed of nothing else: cities populated capture the colours of the sunset at the end of the boulevard.
Right: George Byrne, Post Truth, 2018.
Words Kate Simpson
Post Truth is available 1 November georgebyrne.com
Objects in Disarray Pia Kintrup
The horror vacui series comprises still life photographs in a state of dissolution. Each composition pairs organic and non-organic items – remnants from a larger whole – including leftover packaging from boiled sweets, onion skins, cardboard boxes, coconut shells, egg cartons, plastic bags and pistachio shells. The series speaks to the fear of empty space. The images are at once melancholy and indulgent, resting in the moments after purchasing, unwrapping and consuming. Pia Kintrup’s (b. 1988) research investigates new media and materials, exploring transformational processes, emptiness and abundance. Kintrup has won numerous awards for her experimental projects. In 2019, she was awarded the 13th Special Prize at Arte Laguna, the Special Prize at Photolux Festival and the Excellence Award at Art Next Expo, Hong Kong. She is represented by Noaddress Gallery – Italy and Brazil – and by Townley Gallery, New York. piakintrup.com.
Pia Kintrup, Gelbe Zwiebelfolie / Yellow Onion Skin from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Wurstblumen / Meatflowers from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Knoblauchnetzberge / Garlic Net-Mountains from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Hasenbonbonpapier / Rabbit Candy Wrapper from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Kokosnuss / Coconut from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Satinbonbon / Satin Candy from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Rosen Eierkarton / Rose Eggcarton, from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, GrĂźne Blumen / Green Flowers from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Zitronenschuhbox / Lemon Shoe Box from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Pixelnetz / Pixelmesh from horror vacui.
Pia Kintrup, Pistazienteller / Plate of Pistachios from horror vacui.
Symbols from Nature Leica Oskar Barnack Award MAÏMOUNA GUERRESI PRESENTS A RADICAL RETHINKING OF HUMANITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF LEICA'S INTERNATIONAL PHOTO COMPETITION.
“Humanity and nature are intimately interconnected,” says years ago, has picked out a number of now well-established Italian-Senegalese photographer Maïmouna Guerresi (b. names such as Dominic Nahr, now a photojournalist for Time. From the standpoint of 2020, what’s most striking about 1951). “It makes sense that the fate of our planet is influenced by the actions of individual people. The desertification the award isn’t its place and status, but the fact that it celof the environment corresponds to our spiritual desertifica- ebrates work focused on the environment – and always tion, just as interior pollution is reproduced on the outside has done. “For me it’s really moving that we started with – on the planet.” Guerresi is speaking about the series Beyond this theme 40 years ago, because it becomes more importhe Border: A Journey to Touba, which combines landscape tant each year,” says Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director shots of Senegal with carefully staged compositions of and Chief Representative of Leica Galleries International. “Of course, this topic was also important in the 1980s, but not women posing alongside trees, partly obscured by leaves. The images were taken on journeys between Guerresi’s in the way that it is today – or will be tomorrow.” This theme can be traced in various ways across the 12 fihome in Dakar and the holy city of Touba – named after the Touba tree, said in Islamic scripture to grow in heaven. For nalists, from the more subtle and conceptual responses, to the artist, this has become a symbol of regenerative energy. direct and literal interpretations. In Anastasia Taylor-Lind’s Beyond the Border – as seen with Guerresi's previous works ongoing series, 5km from the Frontline, everyday lives are – is suffused with a sense of interdependence. She says: “It documented amongst the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Bullet is not competition or survival of the fittest that allows us to holes pockmark homes. Rubble lines the streets. However, survive, rather cooperation and a sense of community. These in some images, war is depicted much more subtly – as an insidious, ephemeral presence in the background. Here, two practices break down throwaway culture.” The project is one of 12 shortlisted for the 2020 Leica it’s what lies beyond the frame that’s important, relying on Oskar Barnack Award, a prestigious prize set up 40 years viewer intuition to pick up on the smaller details. In contrast, ago to honour the 100th anniversary of Oskar Barnack’s Matthew Abbott’s Black Summer depicts apocalyptic scenes birth. Barnack (1879-1936) was the inventor of the Leica from the wildfires in Australia in summer 2019. In one nocamera and is widely considered to be one of the first pho- table image, made instantly recognisable by The New York tographers to work in the reportage genre, having captured Times, smoke billows through the frame of a collapsed buildthe 1920 Wetzlar floods with 35mm film. In the past, the ing. Orange fires blaze through the shot whilst a kangaroo prize has been awarded to renowned image-makers such as hops across the foreground looking for safety. The 2020 shortlist also includes Hashem Shakeri’s series Sebastião Salgado, Eugene Richards, Luc Delahaye and Jane Evelyn Atwood. The Newcomer Award, which was added 11 Cast Out of Heaven, which documents skyrocketing house
© Maïmouna Guerresi, (detail of diptych). Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.
“For Guerresi, identity is a constant process of inner construction rather than a questions of race, religion, ethnicity, or language. Here, she hints at the 'fellow feeling' that runs between all people and through all other living things.”
Previous Page: © Maïmouna Guerresi. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. Left: © Maïmouna Guerresi. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.
prices in Iran as many Tehraners were forced out of the 1991. Sufism – known as “Tasawwuf” in the Arabic-speaking capital to places where accommodation was more affordable. world – is a form of Islamic Mysticism that emphasises introThe Mehr Housing Project, initiated in 2007, was the largest spection and spiritual closeness with God. It began very early state-funded housing project in the history of Iran, and the on in Islamic history, and whilst it is sometimes misundertowns of Parand, Pardis and Hashtgerd suffered massive stood as a sect of Islam, it is a much broader style of worship critical shortcomings. The population of Parand doubled that transcends categorisation, directing attention inward. Guerresi says her work is “the expression of an individual over six months, reaching 200,000, but was barely able to provide educational, social and healthcare services who wants to affirm her identity as a ‘metissage’ [mix] befor 10,000. Shakeri’s images consider this through their tween western and African cultures – linked by Islamic spiritdesaturated palettes: washed out buildings and pale blue uality.” She picks out the connections between Islamic prayer beads and Catholic rosaries, for example. “My uncle was a skylines reflect the energy of a failed social project. Whilst this year’s shortlist has a distinct connection to the Catholic missionary, and he used to write from his missions in theme of humans and the environment, for Rehn-Kaufmann, Burundi. In each letter, he spoke of the community and fraterit’s noteworthy that the submissions are taking a new ap- nal dimension of religious life, emphasising the importance proach to storytelling. Originally, the Leica Oskar Barnack of helping others regardless of their race, religion or nationAward started out within the World Press Photo competition, ality. Through Sufism, I then rediscovered the concepts my with an emphasis on reportage. That remit has since expand- uncle had taught me – seeing them through fresh eyes.” For the artist, identity is a constant process of inner coned for the ethos of the prize and for the documentary genre more generally, combining multidisciplinary methods and struction rather than a question of race, religion, ethnicity, or language. Here, she hints at the “fellow feeling” that an emphasis on personal style and decisionmaking. Cristina de Middel’s Journey to the Center, for example, runs between all people and through all other living things, mixes documentary, staged images and fiction to present whatever their individual cultural differences. She continues: the Central American migration route as a daring and heroic “Through spiritual practice, one can access unusual physical, journey. Many projects are similarly conceptual, something mental, sensorial and visual faculties, such as to be able to Rehn-Kaufmann attributes to an increasing interest in recognise one’s inner nature in oneself and in others. When photography as a subjective practice – beyond strict rules that happens, words like ‘identity’ will become obsolete.” These questions have practical and political implications and definitions. Artists are finding their own voice in pictures. Guerresi is noteworthy in this sense, because she demon- – as to how we treat each other and the natural world. Guerstrates a fairly unique perspective. Born Patrizia Guerresi to a resi points out, Touba was built by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Catholic–Italian family, she adopted a new name when she Mbacké, founder of the Sufi Muridija brotherhood and leader married a Senegalese man and converted to Sufi Islam in of a successful peaceful revolt against colonial rule in Sen-
© Maïmouna Guerresi, (detail of diptych). Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.
egal in the late 19th and early 20th century. Demanding his themselves thanks to intellectual, spiritual and artistic skills, followers be treated with respect, he resisted the Imperial ide- but their names have remained in the oblivion of collective ology which justified their subjugation in terms of hierarchy. memory. These historical omissions have motivated me.” There’s an interesting parallel here to the 2020 Leica Oskar Thankfully, the colonies won independence in 1960, but this hierarchical thinking lingers on in our belief system – how Barnack Award, because this year there were more entries we have the perceived right to ransack and take from nature. from women than ever before – perhaps due to the 2020 This is a hierarchy that Guerresi’s work undercuts – em- award including an international panel of nominators, who phasising the continuity between people and landscapes. In each put forward three projects. Guerresi was, in fact, one early pieces, she spoke of “a performative process of mime- of the nominees, put forward by Azu Nwagbogu, Director sis” in which her body would “become a tree.” In the Beyond of the African Artists’ Foundation and LagosPhoto Festival. the Border series, this idea is taken literally, with women Even still, we have a long way to go in terms of levelling the blending into lush green foliage and holding branches out playing field. According to data from the Women Photograph to each other like tongues. The trees become a metaphor for organisation, women photographers shot just 29.5% of the lead images in the New York Times in 2019 – and for most interdependence and forging deeper connections. Guerresi notes that trees have always been a kind of inter- leading newspapers, their share was much smaller than that. mediary between heaven and earth, allowing “cosmic con- The Guardian, for example, was at just 11.3% and figures for tact with the universe.” Since her conversion to Islam, trees galleries and fairs are, sadly, not dissimilar. Here, Guerresi is also an exceptional case, because she has have also taken on a sacred dimension – hence the use of the Touba (as well as the Baobab, which is native to Senegal). already had considerable success – exhibiting around the Touba is also a girl’s name in Arabic, and Beyond the Border world at the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1982, – A Journey to Touba, like much of the artist’s previous series, 1986, and 2011, Biennale Chobi Mela, Dhakka, Bangladesh, focuses on female subjects, specifically African Muslim 2013; and LACMA Museum, Los Angeles, 2016, amongst women. Guerresi creates clothes and scenarios for her sitters many more. Even so, and despite her nomination for the so that they appear as “majestic, surreal and metaphysical Leica Oskar Barnack Award, she says, making art isn’t about characters” in the photographs, and so that each figure can the accolades. It’s about trying to share Sufi thought, and symbolise a figure “capable of dissolving the distinctions also to interpret it. “The peculiarity of Mouridism consists in the ‘sanctification’ of work,” she explains. “Work is as present between genders through her own identity.” It’s part of an ongoing interest in Islam and a female important as meditation and prayer.” For Guerresi and the Muslim world that has not necessarily been recorded or Leica Oskar Barnack Award in general, the aim is to show how widely explored. “The history of Islam has witnessed sev- photography can help us to deconstruct social hierarchies eral female characters. These women have distinguished and re-establish a connection to the natural world.
Right: © Maïmouna Guerresi. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.
Words Diane Smyth
Fantasy in Reality Julie Blackmon
“When I began taking pictures, I was primarily interested in documenting the lives of me and my five sisters as we raised families in the Ozarks. My goal was to capture the mythical in the ordinary, and I gradually began introducing narrative strands into the photos to create visual fables that reflected deeper truths. There have always been snakes lurking in the back gardens of my imagination; I wanted to explore and critique the way we live today. Someone once told me that my work was one-part Norman Rockwell and one-part Norman Bates.” Julie Blackmon’s (b. 1966) photographs are intricately formulated, revelling in busy details and hectic scenarios where accidents are just a stone’s throw away. Children throw balls into the air. Items spill out of garages. Balloons and empty wine bottles are left in disarray after parties. The result is both compelling and disarming; bodies, furniture and toys are all slightly off kilter. julieblackmon.com.
Midwest Materials, 2018 (detail). © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery.
Garage Sale, 2013 Â© Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery.
The After Party, 2010 Â© Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery.
Peggy's Beauty Shop, 2015 ÂŠ Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery.
High Dive, 2010 Â© Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery.
Homegrown Food, 2012 Â© Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery.
Physical Intervention Ulrich Hartmann
Ulrich Hartmann is a German fashion photographer who’s pushing boundaries. His images offer unique physical interventions with an Alice in Wonderland-esque imagination. Eyebrows jut out sharply from the face – hairs covered with vivid blades of grass. Royal blue skin contrasts directly with red netting draped across eyelashes. Daisies cover eyelids – flower heads where the pupils should be. Petals coat tongues is if they were grains of white rice. In this curious world, beauty is a concept ready to be deconstructed – the body extended beyond its expected parameters. Hartmann shoots closely to the face, drawing the viewer into the most graphic, geometric elements. He transforms features into something entirely new. Eyes aren't just eyes and skin isn't just skin. The photographer has created series for a number of well-established brands, as well as Moevir Paris, Institute Magazine and Spectr Magazine. ulrichhartmann.com.
The Daisy Diaries (2020). Photography: Ulrich Hartmann. Model: Maureen Janson @Modelwerk. Hair & Makeup: Anne Versin. Courtesy of Ulrich Hartmann.
Red (2017). Photography: Ulrich Hartmann. Model: Lara Nachtigall. Hair & Makeup: Ben Dniprowskij. Courtesy of Ulrich Hartmann.
The Daisy Diaries (2020). Photography: Ulrich Hartmann. Model: Maureen Janson @Modelwerk. Hair & Makeup: Anne Versin. Courtesy of Ulrich Hartmann.
Focused (2016). Photography: Ulrich Hartmann. Model: Eli Cruz @Munichmodels. Hair & Makeup: Carsten Richert. Courtesy of Ulrich Hartmann.
Red (2017). Photography: Ulrich Hartmann. Model: Lara Nachtigall. Hair & Makeup: Ben Dniprowskij. Courtesy of Ulrich Hartmann.
The Daisy Diaries (2020). Photography: Ulrich Hartmann. Model: Maureen Janson @Modelwerk. Hair & Makeup: Anne Versin. Courtesy of Ulrich Hartmann.
Towards Remembrance In Memory Of 21ST CENTURY MEMORIALS RESONATE WITH AN AGE OF GROWING CONFLICT, TERROR AND PREJUDICE. SPENCER BAILEY INVESTIGATES THE ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF LOSS.
On 19 July 1989, three-year-old Spencer Bailey boarded the sculptor and myself – not all the other men, women and United Airlines Flight 232 in Denver with his mother, Frances, children who were on the plane that day.” Bailey’s new volume of memorial art would probably never his brother Brandon, and 293 other passengers. They were bound for Chicago. At 37,000 feet, the plane’s hydraulic have come about without the formative experience of the lines were severed, and the pilot was forced to make an emer- crash or, perhaps, of having his young body cast in bronze. gency landing at Sioux Gateway Airport, Iowa. Upon impact, However, when researching for this book, a key distinction for the fuselage split into several pieces. Bailey was found in the Bailey was the difference between “memorial” and “monuwreckage and was quickly handed over to Lieutenant Colo- ment” – two terms that have been perpetually confused. And nel Dennis Nielsen, who carried him to safety. The scene was it’s the monument-like qualities of the Flight 232 memorial captured by photographer Gary Anderson and the image – the use of figurative sculpture and narrative tableaux; an became iconic, carrying associations of masculine heroism emphasis on heroic individuals who are almost always white and childhood innocence – narratives that remain embed- men and who often stand for a patriotic myth – that detract from its value as a memorial by definition. ded in western cultural responses to tragedy. During the era of high western imperialism and throughout Bailey's brother also survived the crash, but his mother unfortunately did not, passing away with 112 other passen- both World Wars, monuments were chief talismans of collecgers. Now a design journalist, author and Editor-at-Large at tive memory, rooted in the twin traditions of Neoclassicism Phaidon, Bailey has mixed feelings about the memorial to and Realism. The columns, needles and arches erected for Flight 232, which was unveiled in Sioux City in 1994. These WWI, with their sombre classical proportions and incorporaemotions are complicated by the fact that the centrepiece of tion of statuary, are products of the monument era. Howthe work, The Spirit of Siouxland, is a bronze statue of Bailey ever, with their poignant lists of names, many of these structures also become precursors to an aesthetic and cultural in Nielsen’s arms, created by sculptor Dale Lamphere. “A young child being carried by a man: there’s something seachange: the shift from “monument” to “memorial” – felt inherently political about that, and also patriarchal. The real- more strongly from the 1960s onwards into today. A key turning point was Maya Lin’s design for the Vietnam ity is that a woman actually found my body in the wreckage, and there’s no photo of her.” The erasure of this second res- Veterans Memorial constructed in Washington in 1982. Prior cuer, Lynn Hartter, typifies this memorial’s lack of attention to this, collective suffering had been distilled into figurative to the multiplicity of experiences it represents – to miss out renderings of heroic archetypes or leaders: often one person key details. “The only names at the site are the four people cast in bronze or stone. However, Lin’s design was in keeping connected to the statue: the photographer, Colonel Nielsen, with the minimalist aesthetic of the era: a 250-foot-long
Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, USA, Paul Murdoch Architects (2011–2020). Picture credit: Eric Staudenmeier Photography / Paul Murdoch Architect .
“On many memorial sites, there is also an ephemeral, living presence of foliage and water amongst the solid elements. Just as stone and steel imply permanence, so the lithe, light-reflecting qualities of water stand for new life, recovery and growth.”
Previous Page: Sousse and Bardo Memorial, Birmingham, England, UK. George King Architects (2019). Picture credit: NAARO Left: National Memorial Hall for Israel’s Fallen, Jerusalem, Israel, Kimmel Eshkolot Architects (2017). Picture credit: Amit Geron
By contrast, many works forego ideas of stability or black granite wall, set in a rift in the ground in Constitution Gardens, etched with just under 58,000 names. The change permanence, preferring to focus on empty spaces. These in emphasis might have seemed contradictory. On the one designs take on new connotations of mourning, speaking hand, there was no figurative or realistic element to Lin’s to a feeling of loss that is invisible but insurmountable: that design – no emphasis on the human form and thus, for must be built around rather than filled. The most obvious some, no obvious conduit for the memories that the site was example of this is Michael Arad’s Reflecting Absence (2014), intended to honour. On the other hand, by pulling focus which marks the site of the Twin Towers with two deep square from one particular individual, the project was curiously wells, waterfalls cascading over their inner edges into basins able to emphasise the importance of collective grief. The 30 feet below. A similar effect is achieved by Micha Ullman’s Empty Library (1995), which commemorates a Nazi book centrepiece – if there is one – is the list of names. In short, Lin’s project marked a shift from realist or classical burning on the Bebelplatz in Berlin. Almost invisible from monuments, to minimalist ambiguous memorials that ground level, the project comprises a rectangular shaft cut allowed for wider representation. Audiences are tasked to into the ground of the public square, with empty shelves imagine and empathise for all the things that it does not lining the inner walls of the subterranean cavity. On many memorial sites, there is also an ephemeral, living show. The underlying quality – which allowed the design to achieve balance and be successful in its intent – was presence of foliage and water amongst the solid elements. abstraction. The monument did not tell any one story, Just as stone and steel imply permanence so the lithe, lightinstead telling everyone’s. It’s this subtle, seesawing quality reflecting qualities of water and vegetation stand for new life, recovery and growth. The grounds of the Oklahoma that binds together the 60 plus works in Bailey’s book. There are many other recurring features in contemporary City National Memorial & Museum (2000) – designed by memorials. Most obviously, there is an emphasis on solidity Butzer Architects in memory of the victims of the Oklahoma through concrete, steel, granite and brick. Ironically, these bombing – offer an elegant synthesis of landscape and are materials that were, in the hands of first-generation architecture. The central feature is a large, rectangular minimalist artists, used to focus attention on the barest of reflecting pool, flanked by a gently sloping lawn. Then there is visitor interaction: in many cases, the forms. Here, they become saturated with huge emotional and allegorical weight. To gaze on the barren slabs of Peter completion or consolidation of the memorial occurs through Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (2005) – the presence of human life. For example, after entering the a vast, undulating grid of concrete “stelae” on a Berlin square vast, glass-walled lobby of David Adjaye’s Smithsonian – is to encounter a stark, unshiftable presence that seems to National Museum of African American History and Culture stand both for insurmountable loss and the permanence of (2016), visitors take an elevator 65 feet down to the museum’s “crypt.” From there, they begin a journey back upwards history as a whole: a determination not to forget.
National Memorial Hall for Israel’s Fallen, Jerusalem, Israel, Kimmel Eshkolot Architects (2017). Picture credit: Amit Geron .
through five subterranean floors of chronological galleries, including a reconstructed slave cabin and a segregated railway carriage. Above ground are exhibition floors framing the achievements of African American sportspeople, cultural icons and musicians. To make the journey from darkness into light is to partake in a form of metaphor, enacting the process from bondage to (some form of) freedom. Adjaye’s design also asks difficult questions about the whole idea of memorial architecture. If constructing them is the art of shaping social memory, who decides what gets remembered, and how? The politics of memorialisation – its vulnerability to political and economic power and prejudice – might explain the dearth of memorials to black experience, amongst many other causes, on the western memorial map. As a white male author, Bailey is sensitive to this. “There aren’t enough memorials in the USA depicting or honouring the incredible sacrifice and loss that African American people have experienced over this nation’s history. There should be slavery memorials in Africa, there should be more slavery memorials in the UK, Belgium, France, Portugal, and so on …” With this context in mind, one of the most viscerally affecting works is the The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened in Montgomery, Alabama, in 2018. A tribute to the 4,400 black Americans lynched between 1877 and 1950, the MASS Design Group’s site includes a central pavilion with 816 Corten steel blocks hanging from its ceiling, each six feet tall and representing a US County where a lynching took place, inscribed with the names of those killed. Around the edges of the pavilion, replica slabs are laid on their sides. The connotations of the arrangement – strange fruit, coffins in serried rows – are unavoidable but unforced,
depending on visitors to complete the image in their minds. Moving into 2020 and beyond, how will we memorialise the tragedies of our own time, such as the loss of life from Covid-19, which is also stratified by racial inequality? Perhaps equally importantly, in a culture fractured by political animosity, is there any common ground for our grief: for the subjects we consider fit for remembrance and the means we choose for doing so? Can we grieve together anymore? On this final point Bailey is, inherently, optimistic. “I think we can. What most people are angry about is figurative statues. They are monuments, they are not memorials. Most statues depict white men, and typically they’ve done pretty terrible things. There aren’t a lot of abstract memorials that can cause this sort of consternation.” The capacity to honour collective memory is the achievement of memorials, not monuments, which remain riddled with the narratives of empire and conquest – colonialism and slavery. It’s this same sense of the democratic, unifying power of abstraction that informs Bailey’s thoughts on potential future monuments, for example, those that might recognise the devastating pandemic. “It would be interesting to create a [uniform] design that is simple enough to be executed anywhere – installed in parks, cities and towns around the world featuring local names of the dead, with a digital searchable component that has the names of everyone around the world.” For Bailey, such a project would harness the power of memorials to shape our collective future as well as curate shared memories. “We need memorials not only to remember, but also to force us to slow down. They are to humble us, turn us inward, allow us to feel things. They serve as expressive concrete reminders that help us heal.”
Right: National Memorial Hall for Israel’s Fallen, Jerusalem, Israel, Kimmel Eshkolot Architects (2017). Picture credit: Amit Geron.
Words Greg Thomas
In Memory Of: Designing Contemporary Memorials is published by Phaidon phaidon.com
Balancing Act JULIE COCKBURN
Julie Cockburn’s (b. 1966) latest exhibition, Balancing Act, springs into The Photographers’ Gallery, London, like a burst of kinetic energy that dances across the walls. The images follow the format of collage seen in previous work, and are just as delicate and mischievous. As the exhibition title suggests, the images lean towards sentiments of stability – fitting for a series made so recently, in an off-kilter world. At first glance, the compositions may seem arbitrary, in the way that the multitude of shapes and strokes overlay the found vintage photographs that Cockburn is known to employ. In fact, the shapes are placed with fine precision, using techniques of hand-embroidery or glued vinyl to give each image an astute sense of poise and positioning. This device lifts the photographs beyond their previous state and contexts. Nostalgic portraits, figures in action, perched
parrots and majestic landscapes are all reincarnated with the spirit of Cockburn. Their predictability is subverted, and their position as forgotten relics is called into question. Four works entitled Ta Da 1 – 4 (2020) submerge an iceskating figure underneath block-coloured orb-like balls. Words They burst with spectacle and spirit, drawing the eye to Robyn Cusworth something unseen: like an aura or the adrenaline felt when a human performs something dangerous and complex. Meanwhile, images of mountain-ranges like Valley Melody (2020) and Magic Lake (2020) – which move away from The Photographers' human performance – still succeed in evoking a sense of Gallery, London movement and energy. The sprinkling of shapes hark to a 9 September - 25 October trail that’s left for the viewer – a journey that’s yet to be had. Balancing Act is altogether thoughtful and compelling. thephotographers These are stories that have been resurfaced and reimagined. gallery.org.uk
The Time We Call Our Own A GROUP EXHIBITION
It’s hard not to feel a sense of loss and longing at Open Eye Gallery’s first show since reopening, which reflects on clubs and parties as sites for creative resistance. A dance floor seems almost unimaginable in this age of distance. Curated by Adam Murray, The Time We Call Our Own presents work by six international artists – Amelia Lonsdale, Andrew Miksys, Oliver Sieber, Dustin Thierry, Mirjam Wirz and Tobias Zielony. Luring us in through the glass front of the gallery is a large-scale image from Dustin Thierry’s series Opulence, a tribute to the black LGBTQ Ballroom scene in Europe. Like religion, nightlife subculture is characterised by icons, rituals and communities. In Mirjam Wirz’s documentation of Latin American “sonidos” we see how sound systems produce new forms of belonging beyond those prescribed by family or workplace. Displayed on two black walls that meet in a
corner, enticing us inwards, Oliver Sieber’s Imaginary Club points to a global collective experience through continuities of style in Japan, Europe and the USA. Shot throughout the 2000s in Lithuanian small-town discos staged in former Soviet municipal buildings, Andrew Miksys' Disko shows a generation finding new forms of expression in the wake of the USSR, whilst for Tobias Zielony’s post-revolutioniary Ukrainian youth techno and queer raves are a liberating nocturnal respite from wider Russian influence. In the upstairs gallery, Amelia Lonsdale offers 1970s snapshots by her mother and her then boyfriend, both New Romantics. Club culture thrives in the cracks between day and night, between art and hedonism. Gentrification, far right populism, and now Covid-19, threaten the spaces portrayed in this exhibition – and with them our capacity to dream.
Words Rachel Segal Hamilton
Open Eye, Liverpool 3 September - 23 October openeye.org.uk
Games We Play THE OUTSIDE ART PROJECT
There is something very fitting about Games We Play. Change and transformation are two key themes that connect the three photographers behind the 30 large-scale images in the Outside Art Project – the new outdoor exhibition space in King’s Cross. Julie Cockburn remodels vintage photographs through media such as painting and embroidery; Luke Stephenson blends portraiture with still life; and Weronika Gęsicka subversively hijacks subjects, decontextualising found images and giving them a completely surreal feel. Games We Play feels very punctual too. The exhibition was inaugurated on 27 July in partnership with The Photographers’ Gallery and at the height of summer 2020, a time which perhaps lacked the glee typically associated with the sandy, hot season. The world was still in lockdown, emerging as part of the government's "Get Back to Summer" campaign. Stephenson’s rich, sculptural ice-creams melt
in tiny teardrops and the effect is bittersweet. The thready, round bubbles emerging from Cockburn’s photographs, as in Mountain Lake, seem heavy and intrusive. The twin girls playing ball in Gęsicka’s Untitled #10 lean beyond the frame, a metal structure fixing the photographs two-by-two above a series of benches and which brutally cuts short the girls’ fun. Games We Play extends the length of King’s Boulevard, through Pancras Square and up towards Granary Square. Viewers can read into the decision to exhibit art outside the train station, where mundane and “ordinary” journeys have been completely transformed. Art has the power of illuminating reality. It encourages us to look again, to find exceptional beauty in normality and broaden perspectives. This is the first exhibition hosted by the Outside Arts Project, ending on 1 November, and should neither be missed nor given for granted – providing much-needed cultural respite.
Words Carolina Mostert
King's Cross, London 27 July - 1 November kingscross.co.uk
1a. Julie Cockburn, Blue Moons, 2020. © Julie Cockburn. Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery. 1b. Julie Cockburn, Valley Melody, 2020. © Julie Cockburn. Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery. 2. Dustin Thierry, Opulence, Thaynah Vineyard at the 'We Are The Future – And The Future Is Fluid' Ball organised by Legendary Marina 007 and Mother Amber Vineyard. Body painting by visual artist Airich. Dustin Thierry, Amsterdam 2018. 3. Untitled #1 © Weronika Gęsicka. Courtesy of the artist and Jednostka gallery.
4a. Bittersweet 05, 2016 © Christopher Thomas. 4b. Bittersweet 01, 2013 © Christopher Thomas . 5. Joris, Amsterdam 24 April 1991 © The Remsen Wolff Collection. Courtesy of Jochem Brouwer. 6. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, The Substitute (2019). Image by Rob Battersby. Installation view at FACT. Courtesy of the artist.
Bittersweet CHRISTOPHER THOMAS
Christopher Thomas’s (b. 1961) photographs have always been cinematic. Though his latest exhibition, at Hamiltons Gallery, London, is perhaps his most theatrical to date. A departure from the usual series of black and white cityscapes, Bittersweet is a playful exploration – and is 20 years in the making. It is a swirl of nostalgia and mixed emotions. Reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s paintings – looking from the outside-in – Thomas’s voyeurism is less interested in people than the places they have left behind: an unmanned confectionary stall or a speedboat stuck in a mire. Candyfloss and dilapidation. The colour palette blows hot and cold, too: orange mixes with blue, cranberry with honey, bitter sweet. Locations and time of day are ambiguous. Depending on your mood, it’s sunrise or sunset. It's a clever trick. A glow from the window of an unhitched caravan – abandoned to the desert – warms the night. It’s an uncanny visual pun, an immobile home. For a moment, the light in Bitter-
sweet 63 (2018) feels hopeful against the darkness, oasislike. But perhaps the darkness is encroaching. Suddenly one imagines Walter White inside, cooking up his own demise. In Bittersweet 2 (2012), another pilotless vehicle – this time a child’s tricycle – takes Danny’s wheels from The Shining and puts them on vacation, against the backdrop of rolling hills. Like the rest of the series, it’s a sad-happy affair that dramatises the chiaroscuro, the dark versus light, thematically as well as visually. Thomas asks: is the cup half-empty or halffull? Has the toy been left to rust in a field? Or is a child wait- Words ing out of shot, to scoot off into the distance? Jack Solloway Even still, Thomas’s photography is more sweet than it is bitter. In one picture, a bird – presumably taxidermied – is wedged headfirst into a cup. Again: is it half-empty or half- Hamiltons, London full? In the end, the point is moot. If this year has taught us 2 September - 9 October anything, as Thomas reminds us, it’s that it’s best to have a sense of humour about these types of things. hamiltonsgallery.com
Amsterdam Girls REMSEN WOLFF
Foam re-opens to the public, and the gallery unveils a new exhibition dedicated to American photographer Remsen Wolff (1940-1998). Wolff never had any formal training as a photographer – having grown up in New York to a wealthy family. Often described as a “loner” and “introvert,” Wolff struggled with his social and sexual identity, constantly searching for acceptance from the external world. Whilst developing a love for perceived “outsiders,” Wolff moved into a community of transgender individuals and crossdressers, drag kings and queens. During his time living amongst them, Wolff began photographing extensively from 1990 onwards, with moments of truth, intimacy and trust. The main body of the exhibition belongs to Special Girls - A Celebration (1990-1992), an ambitious collection of over 100,000 images reflecting the artist’s journey into gender fluidity whilst travelling across Europe and USA. This
analogue archive has been preserved for more than 20 years by assistant photographer Jochem Brouwer, who defended the value of Wolff’s work even when it wasn’t recognised by mainstream critics or wider public perception. For the first time, Foam also presents a selection of photos taken in Amsterdam – considered by many as the “gay capital” of Europe during the 1990s. The portraits appear as a family album of bold, beautiful characters that challenge viewer perception with their charm and courage – being exactly who they are in front of the lens. Gifted with sensitivity and a fascination for surrounding communities, Wolff came across many muses in nightclubs, on the street and through friends – always on the search for a new story to tell. Moving from anonymity into the spotlight, the subjects are framed with a powerful sense of celebration, in pursuit of inclusivity instead of marginalisation.
Words Monica De Vidi
Foam Amsterdam 11 September - 6 December foam.org
And Say the Animal Responded? A GROUP EXHIBITION
Humanity is destroying the Earth, there’s no question of that. From deforestation and ocean acidification to deep mining and fossil fuel consumption, our actions are damaging the Earth But do we understand the impact of smaller, everyday actions? It’s time to listen to the animal kingdom. FACT’s latest show explores the potential for inter-species communication, and in the process, highlights the crucial need for human compassion. In Ohm1gas (2012), Kuai Shen translates the movements of leafcutter ants into music as their actions trigger records on turntables. Elsewhere, Ariel Guzik’s The Nereida Capsule (2007) mimics the language of whales and dolphins. The noises are jarring, but through alienating audiences, they highlight the dangerous limitations of human empathy; we tend to disconnect from that which we don’t understand. Therein lies the main problem. Other parts of the show consider the power play between artist and subject. Animals are observed from afar, their
powers moderated through the filter of technology. Demelza Kooij puts safe distance between her and a pack of wolves, tracking their behaviour through a drone. Meanwhile, Amalia Pica and Rafael Ortega film chimpanzees through a hidden camera, engaging in a one-way perspective that feels, uncomfortably, like we’re voyeurs at the zoo. Though the playing field is altered, it’s crucial that the works draw attention to how human beings seek to dominate, control and alter nature to suit our needs. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is perhaps the most successful at demonstrating this, reducing animal forms to uncanny representations, ruled by Artificial Intelligence. Computerised tweeting drowns out a dawn chorus, and we’re forced to consider what we value most. Are we happy with mere simulation? Ultimately, these six artists are united in their depictions of what we have, and will, stand to lose, if we don’t start putting the planet first and consider the implications of extinction.
Words Julia Johnson
FACT Liverpool 12 August - 13 December fact.co.uk
Still from Under the Waterfall – The Avener. Courtesy of Sebastion Caudron. Part of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival Official Selection 2020.
A Decade of Film AESTHETICA SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION From 3 to 30 November, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) celebrates its 10th anniversary edition, not from its home in York, but through a revolutionary new digital platform that's accessible to audiences across the world. Covid-19 has created huge challenges for the film industry, from exhibitors and directors to editors and distributors. Despite these hurdles, this year brings opportunity to learn and adapt. ASFF has evolved to present exciting new programming that broaden the horizons of independent cinema. Audiences can engage with film screenings and live industry activity, logging in from the comfort of home. Digital visitors can expect the same steadfast selection of ground-breaking short films – only for this year’s virtual festival, content will be released in daily curated strands at from 3-8 November. Once released, these expertly curated programmes will be available On Demand until 30 November. The strands group films together under six common themes, such as Just Another Day on Earth – exploring global perspectives – and Humans and Their Environment, considering the ways we interact with each other and the planet. Maintaining a newly established commitment to longer content, the festival also offers has 10 feature screenings across both narrative and documentary filmmaking, which, again, will be released daily. Meanwhile on the VR and immersive filmmaking front, the 360 cinema launches on 3
November with 18 immersive films. These are accompanied “ASFF has evolved to by daily panel discussions on the ethics of Virtual Reality present exciting new and its place constructing interactive landscapes for a more opportunities that empathic viewing experience. These can be viewed at home broaden the horizons with cardboard headsets, which are available with tickets. and experience The festival welcomes acclaimed writers, producers and di- of independent rectors as part of the industry programme, such as Andrea cinema. Audiences Arnold (Wasp, Fish Tank, American Honey, as well as a across the world masterclasses with Sarah Gavron (Rocks, Suffragette) and can buy passes from Sam Feder (DISCLOSURE, Boy I Am) and double Oscar-win- film screenings and ning VFX Supervisor Paul Franklin (Inception, Interstellar). live events, logging A spotlight on Russel Tovey is dedicated to the art of acting, on from home.” and Turner Prize-winner Jeremy Deller considers the topics of Defining Cultural Landscapes. Leading industry folk from pivotal companies such as Film4, Industrial Light & Magic, Nowness, Framestore, Dazed and the BBC will also be present online, sharing first-hand insights from key roles in production, commissioning, screen writing and more. Words A variety of passes will be available; 24 hour access, seven Beth Webb days or an entire month, with prices starting from £25. Everyone who buys a pass gets access to all of the content that’s available within that time-frame; all live industry events ASFF 2020 are recorded and available afterwards. This year’s festival is 3-30 November truly exceptional, welcoming back returning patrons, new audiences and a wealth of industry talent. Log in and enjoy. asff.co.uk
Diverse Perspectives AESTHETICA SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: GUEST PROGRAMMES A significant contribution is entitled I Still Can’t Breathe “ASFF welcomes and comes courtesy of online resource hub Directors Notes back award-winning and Can We Talk DXB – a digital platform that’s dedicated to alumni from past championing black voices. In the very recent wake of George editions to screen Floyd’s murder and the consequent movement that swept works that define the entire world, this collection of films portrays the reality of turbulent times, from life as a member of a marginalised population. the climate crisis and Meanwhile, the Native Spirit Festival – the UK's first and shifts in political only annual independent festival to promote Indigenous landscapes to global filmmakers – allows digital visitors to expand on their knowl- migration and tales of edge of native storytelling with a committed programme that personal identities.” considers translating oral traditions and rites of passage. Meanwhile, there is a selection of films that expands the discussion around transgender individuals. By challenging the argument that trans films invariably feature transgender people – as opposed to being made by them – this curated strand by the Transgender Media Portal is a rare and exciting collection of trans voices from behind the camera. Finally, as a special homage to the festival on its 10th an- Words niversary, ASFF welcomes back 36 award-winning alumni Beth Webb from past editions to screen works that define turbulent times, from the climate crisis and shifts in political landscapes, to global migration, the rise in new technologies ASFF 2020 and tales of personal identities and experiences. This is 3-30 November boundary breaking cinema, sent straight to your device. asff.co.uk
Still from Lying Together. Courtesy of Corey Baker. Part of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival Official Selection 2020.
ASFF is unfaltering in bringing diversity to its annual programme, from the stories that we see on-screen to the people behind the camera, as well as the various guests invited to sit on panels. This commitment extends to the voices programming the festival itself; a top priority for ASFF is to address the issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. This year, the festival welcomes an extensive programme of curated Guest Programmes, including spotlights on the work of LGBTQ+, transgender, black and indigenous filmmakers. The festival uses its valuable virtual platform to encourage positive and informed conversations about who we represent, how and why. These special screenings focus on global issues such as racism and representation, encouraging positive engagement with short film and fresh perspectives on identity, equality and heritage. This is cinema that provokes and inspires, connecting with the human condition. The guest reels offer a blend of returning festival organisations and collectives, with some exciting new additions further expanding the stories being told on-screen, with bold, innovative narratives and cutting-edge independent cinema. Amongst those returning to the festival is Berwyn Rowlands, Director of the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival – who presents films that ask pivotal questions about what defines gay cinema. Also returning is Short of the Week, which focuses on the subject of isolation parallel to the current pandemic.
Credit: Latoya Van Der Meeren.
More to Discover NANA ADJOA Nana Adjoa is in north Amsterdam, watching the world go times? “I struggle with that question, to be honest. I feel that by through her living room window. “It’s a floor [basement] everyone is responsible for our shared future. In general, I apartment, and I see people walking past, mostly construction like to stay away from telling people what to do or not to do.” The record was written and produced last year, in Rotterworkers; they’re renovating the older houses in this area.” It’s a fitting scene, this vantage point of outward-facing ob- dam – where her producer, Wannes Salomé, is based – and servation. This is a recurring device on the Dutch-Ghanaian in Amsterdam at the studio-slash-rehearsal space – which singer-songwriter’s debut. Big Dreaming Ants is a grand, yet Adjoa shares with her guitarist, Tim, and the studio’s founder, ephemeral name which is perfectly fitting. “I was zooming in drummer / producer Viktor. Adjoa describes these places as – searching for my identity – and then zooming out, seeing multicultural and diverse in their own way. “I love living in the city, but Amsterdam is pretty small compared it to somemyself as a small piece in a larger whole, ” explains Adjoa. As a queer artist, Adjoa understands how ideas of the self where London or New York. I’ve been living here for 10 years are constantly shifting. Race, gender, religion, sexuality and now, and it's big enough for a lot of different people to conationality also feature throughout Big Dreaming Ants – exist, but to me, its not big enough to feel like this lost partiweighty themes set to mature, unhurried indie-pop. If there’s cle – a feeling I get in places like Los Angeles. I definitely feel a dreamy, vaguely melancholic feel to Adjoa’s style as song- [insubstantial] when I think about me as a part of this planet.” Despite a clear fondness for the capital, Adjoa doesn’t feel writer, it’s likely the influence of one Jeff Buckley, an important early influence on the multi-instrumentalist and classi- any particular kinship with artists and bands. “I'm not really cally trained jazz player (Adjoa studied electric and double part of any particular scene, here or internationally.” And yet, cities can have a way of shaping the records that are made bass at the prestigious Amsterdam Conservatory). The personal and political both figure loudly on Big on their soil. This is at least in part true for Big Dreaming Dreaming Ants. Whilst Throw Stones mines the social media- Ants, says Adjoa. “Feeling safe, solid and at home here in induced digital anxiety that so many artists have grappled Amsterdam gave me the comfort to look outwards and think with on record in recent years, National Song explores the about a bigger picture when writing this record. I know this thorny and increasingly worrisome issue of neo-nationalism. landscape, but I also feel that there is always something What does Adjoa think an artist’s role is, in these precarious hidden underneath here, left to discover.”
“As a queer artists, Adjoa understands how ideas of the self are constantly shifting. Race, gender, religion, sexuality and nationality also feature throughout Big Dreaming Ants – weighty themes set to mature, unhurried indie-pop.”
Words Charlotte R-A
The Power of Memory SPEELBURG
“Sacre's lightly funky, charmingly droll pop takes influence from Back, Vampire Weekend, and, in spirit, the Avalanches – the latter being something of a touchstone for the sample-happy Polymath. Porsche is stuffed with subtle, repurposed sounds.”
Words Charlotte R-A
Credit: Alline Beatrici.
The Covid-19 cases are surging across the UK, and experts vocals, guitars, synths, drums, bass. “I started with classical are predicting another full-scale lockdown. This is no doubt guitar lessons when I was six. Then, as a teenager, I switched disappointing news for an artist like Speelburg, aka Noah to electric and learned the hard way that my neighbours Sacré; the Belgian-American born, Brighton [UK] based didn’t like Incubus riffs. I learnt how to produce via YouTube pop artist is a self-confessed “glutton for adoration,” who’s videos and started making very weird electronic stuff in high felt the pause on touring keenly. “The last gig I played was school. If you get the chance, please make sure you never at the end of 2019. Now I find myself just wandering the listen to it. It was awful. I think there’s maybe 10 copies out supermarket aisle at rush hour just to feel something.” Sacré in the world, one of which I gave to James Murphy of LCD says he spent the first few weeks of the first lockdown getting Soundsytem after a show when I was 16.” Sacré’s lightly funky, charmingly droll pop takes influence together with friends on House Party and getting drunk on Zoom. “But that got old fast. Then I re-watched all of The from Beck, Vampire Weekend and, in spirit, the Avalanches – the latter being something of a touchstone for the sampleWonder Years. I’ve also inadvertently stockpiled albums.” Denied the release of performing live, Sacré has ploughed happy polymath. Porsche is stuffed with subtle, repurposed his energies into recording at his Brighton-based studio. sounds, sonic snapshots lifted from a digitised archive of Along with Porsche, a sprightly October-slated dance pop Sacré family memorabilia, largely recorded by his late debut, there is also a finished EP, a second album and a third mother, who passed away a few years ago. Like the original Spielberg (Steven), Sacré understands LP. Music is a full-time job for Sacré, an unusual situation for an artist at the debut album stage. This is likely because he the pull of childhood nostalgia, and the power that our has spent a number of years co-writing with and producing memories of it exert on us long into adulthood. The samples for other artists, such as France’s Broken Back, alongside his that lace Porsche are subtle, undetectable as such to the own group and solo efforts. “I write music for commercials, average listener, but this act of “canonisation” has become and direct [videos] too,” – a passion hinted at in his moniker. a kind of calling card for Sacré. “Yeah, I use those samples Sacré clearly enjoys keeping busy; with the exception on all of the music I put out or help produce; I really enjoy of the brass flourishes that colour Porsche, he played and including the people I love in my work. I’m actively fighting recorded all of the instruments that feature on his debut: the impulse to live in the past, but I still really miss my mom.”
Rabbit Snare Gorge, Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada. From Snowbound: Dwelling in Winter by William Morgan (Princeton Architectural Press, £40).
Extreme Climates SNOWBOUND: DWELLING IN WINTER Even the most beautiful cabin, whether it’s tucked into the fold of a mountain or resting on the screen of tundra, is, at its core, defined by survival. In Snowbound: Dwelling in Winter, architectural historian William Morgan documents these winter structures, from the ski slopes of Utah to frosty northwestern Russia. A celebration of contemporary design in cold climates, each of the 20 projects are tailored to architects, designers and snow enthusiasts alike. With a strong focus on sustainability, Morgan explores these beautiful and remote locations through a photo-essay, including immersive photography, architectural plans and climate data. Morgan cites a key shift in collective consciousness, towards humanity working with nature rather than against it. The featured projects are in direct response to this: sturdy yet aesthetically pleasing, many of the structures take cues from igloos or reindeer herder tents. However, this is just a starting point: “All of these houses acknowledge nature, whether as a primitive force or as a metaphysical idea,” says Morgan. Tradition informs many of the houses. Culardoch Shieling in the Scottish Highlands, for example, has a grass roof akin to shepherds’ crofts, whilst Rabbit Snare Gorge uses local construction techniques on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island. Gaudin House in Switzerland was formerly a barn; Mountain House (2016), which is located a stone’s throw away from Mont Blanc in the Alps, is in the style of a traditional chalet.
For Mountain House, architect Alireza Razavi was inspired “The featured projects by the spirit of a typical French alpine farmhouse, with are sturdy yet animals on the ground level, granary above, and an upper aesthetically pleasing, story for family life. The building has progressively larger many taking cues overhangs to protect from falling snow, whilst a pine façade from igloos or reindeer and lacquered steel roof protects it from dangerous natural herder tents. However, elements. Evoking the traditional chalets of the Haute- this is just a starting Savoie region, Razavi’s work is noticeably minimalist, taking point. All of these the useful aspects of its design through a contemporary houses acknowledge lens. “Many of the houses in this valley feature decorative nature, whether as a elements applied for no real reason. We tried to express only primitive force or a the features that are essential to the building and that keeps metaphysical idea.” the overall aesthetic quite simple,” he explains. A less traditional entry is Mountain Cabin (2011) in western Austria. Looking over the Upper Rhine Valley, the house resembles a concrete monolith, playfully divided in the middle by two rectangular openings. Deep-set windows and a double-walled concrete shell ensure the cabin is capable of withstanding an avalanche, whilst reading like a geometrical Words sculpture. “In the search for the essence of the winter dwell- Gunseli Yalcinkaya ing, these designers have provided an antidote to the excess of so much shelter-magazine style,” says Morgan. “In a time of McMansions, mannerist skyscrapers and environmental Princeton degradation, these snowy shelters have re-examined what is Architectural Press necessary to survive and thrive amidst adverse conditions.” papress.com
Unexpected Symmetry ACCIDENTALLY WES ANDERSON A highlight, pointed out by Anderson in the preface, is a “Anderson's aesthetics pancake stand in Krka National Park in Croatia. Set against are retro and playful, a backdrop of gorges, lakes and waterfalls, it’s wedged be- defined by vivid tween a Byzantine church and an ancient Roman catacomb colours, front-on marked by first century graffiti: “Nothing could better com- façades and sharp plement this marriage of natural wonder and sweeping histo- symmetry. The result ry than Croatian pancakes,” Koval remarks. Its quaint wooden is stranger than architecture and absurdist context make it a natural fit for the fiction: meticulously director’s style – you half-expect Bill Murray to be standing constructed out of shot, or one of the Wilson brothers to be running past. landscapes that tow On the grander scale is Hearst Castle (as in, William the line between the Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon) in California, whose familiar and whimsy.” ornate exteriors, we’re told, were inspired by a trip around Europe when Hearst was 10 years old. Once described by guest George Bernard Shaw as “what God would have built if he had the money,” the estate features an Italian palazzo and a Gothic suite, amongst other things. Its tennis courts, captured in the book, are perhaps its most modest feature. Yet its muted green and cream colours are paired with a view of California’s mountain range. The stables – home to zebras, Words Gunseli Yalcinkaya elk and sheep – are the perfect dose of magical realism. Whilst some entries are more convincing than others, Koval’s immaculate choice of images and snappy commentary breathes life into these punchy façades. Once you’ve Trapeze stepped into this world, it’s truly difficult to leave. orionbooks.co.uk
Photographed by James Wong. Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval. Published by Trapeze, 29 October 2020. Hardback and eBook www.accidentallywesanderson.com.
For 20 years, Wes Anderson (b. 1969) has established an immediately recognisable style. From the saturated shades of Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and the fading grandeur and preposterous luxury of Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) to the apocalyptic (yet friendly) dumps in Isle of Dogs (2018), Anderson’s aesthetics are retro and playful, defined by vivid colours, front-on façades and sharp symmetry. The result is stranger than fiction: meticulously constructed landscapes that toe the line between the familiar and whimsy. The Instagram account @accidentallywesanderson has, for the last two years, been capturing and curating hundreds of photographs of real-world places inspired by the imaginary landscapes of Anderson’s films. What began as the premise of a Reddit thread has blossomed into a viral phenomenon with over one million followers. Now, it’s being published as an expansive photobook, written by the Instagram account’s founder and self-described “Anderson fanboy,” Wally Koval, and with a foreword by the legendary filmmaker himself. With 200 locations packed with quirky imagery, Accidentally Wes Anderson celebrates a unique approach. In Portugal’s sleepy Viera de Leiria sits an old-fashioned house with matte red seats and varnished wooden framings. At the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro is a tiny sloped hut. A bright yellow train sits amidst Egypt’s Valley of Kings, whilst a white ferry punctuates the flowing turquoise waters of the Bosporus.
Monsoon HONG KHAOU
The second film from British-Cambodian filmmaker Hong Khaou – who made the much-admired 2014 tale Lilting – Monsoon is a complex character study exploring sexuality, culture, history and identity. Running at a brisk 85 minutes, and with plenty of contemplative silences, the film might, on the surface, seem slight. However, the performance of lead Henry Golding speaks volumes. Golding, who found fame in Crazy Rich Asians and more recently Guy Ritchie’s The Gentleman, plays Kit – a British-raised gay man who has returned to Vietnam, the country of his birth. He’s bringing his mother’s ashes back to a world he barely remembers. A lost soul, he seems discombobulated by the hectic pace of Ho Chi Minh City. Is he a foreigner? Does he belong? These are questions etched across the character’s face. He meets with second cousin Lee (David Tran), who
seems surprised that Kit barely remembers Vietnamese. Kit brings Lee and his mother gifts from England – including a tin of biscuits featuring a picture of the Royal Family. He immediately feels embarrassed at these tacky duty-free items. Again, Khaou plays on awkward pauses, allowing the audience to read between the lines. Kit explores the country (and an inner life), he bounces between casual hook-ups. But when he meets Lewis (Parker Sawyers), a dynamic American who has arrived in Vietnam to set up his clothing company, everything changes, and rapidly. Lewis’ father fought in the Vietnam War. They are both linked by a painful past. Golding offers a fully rounded, fully committed turn; Monsoon may sound dramatic, with its meteorological title. However, whilst emotional torrents are buried deep beneath the film’s still waters, it is a tender experience.
Words James Mottram
Relic NATALIE ERIKA JAMES
This feature debut from Japanese-Australian director Natalie Erika James is a dark, personal exploration of losing a parent as they get older. When the elderly Edna is reported missing by concerned neighbours, daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam travel out of the bustling city of Melbourne to the remote family home where the family matriarch lives alone. Edna reappears, but as the film progresses, it becomes evident that a presence in the house is affecting her in increasingly sinister ways. James effectively crafts a foreboding atmosphere, but the film’s real strengths come from its unravelling of the fraught relationship between its main characters. From the outset, it’s clear that these women struggle to communicate with each other, changing the subject or becoming silent when difficult topics arise. This leaves Kay, played by Emily Mortimer, to struggle alone with
the pressures of deciding how the final years of her mother’s life should look. She decides on a care home with “sea views” – which are, in reality, slivers barely visible between Melbourne skyscrapers. It is hardly a replacement for the green woodland her mother is used to, and the chair so old the feet have made grooves in the carpet. Edna is horrified to learn of her new fate – confirmation that she is losing control. The creeping melancholy of the first half gives way to a claustrophobic, nightmare-inducing finale. Whilst the transition in tone may seem jarring, Edna’s home transforms into an impressively terrifying and imaginative maze of horror for Sam and Kay, before resolving on an ambiguous, but surprisingly tender note, as James reaffirms the universal fear that lies in watching a loved one become a stranger through old age.
Words Steph Watts
Body of Water LUCY BRYDON
This is an assured debut from British writer-director Lucy Brydon, Body of Water examines eating disorders through an unusual lens. Stephanie (Sian Brooke) is not a teenager – the demographic most associated with anorexia. She is a woman, a former war photographer whose work in conflict zones now feels like a lifetime away. When the film starts, Stephanie emerges from a treatment facility where she has been for several months. This is not the first time she has been through such therapy. It’s hinted that her line of work may have brought on the illness, but Brydon is not looking for cause-and-effect; she’s concerned with the here-and-now. Stephanie’s return to the real world is fraught with difficulty. She already has a complex relationship with her despairing mother Susan (Amanda Burton), who has been looking after Stephanie’s unforgiving teen daugh-
ter Pearl (Fabienne Piolini-Castle). When Stephanie first sees her, the 15-year-old refuses to acknowledge her – a moment that suggests their bond is beyond repair. Assigned a case worker, Shaun (Nick Blood), who may or may not have her best interests at heart, Stephanie’s rehabilitation is further complicated by her own urges. She drinks water frequently – presumably to sate her desire to eat. And the time spent on a website where people post pictures of fat-free bodies and comment on them is hardly conducive to her recovery. Shot in muted tones, Brydon deliberately downplays events; this is not a film driven by hysteria or excess. Brooke, who lost weight for the role, is hugely credible as a woman increasingly trapped by a disease she simply can’t control anymore. The finale has an inexorable quality. For the most, Body of Water is acutely judged.
Words James Mottram
Eivør hails from the small rocky landscape of the Faroe Islands – a self-governing archipelago, part of Denmark. This year, the renowned electronica artist releases a taut, almost trip-hoppy record littered with live strings and big crescendos that swoop and dive like birds amongst the coastlines. Her music is used across the board on leading shows such as Game of Thrones and Homeland, and it’s easy to see how the quick edits match with high-octane drama. This dynamic is present in every song. Extremely expositional lyrics – that cater to the TV, game and film market – are the order of the day on this album, making it feel less like a musical piece and more a tactical collection specifically made for industry. The lyrics on Nothing To Fear feel a little juvenile – mimicking in the likes of Kate Bush or Björk. There is entirely nothing wrong with pop that’s this squeaky clean and dubbed,
but where it feels too stripped back – as if it could be played by numbers – it is extremely easy to be cynical. Segl is co-produced by Lana Del Rey collaborator Dan Heath, and that sound certainly has a huge impact on the sound design of the entire project – laden with orchestral, cinematic moments. Only Love is the starkest example of Lana-lite inspiration, with heavily reverbed percussion which is equally matched with husky elongated close-tothe-mic sultry vocal takes, breathing in and out. Meanwhile, Gullspunnin, (translated as “cocooned in gold”) sung in Eivør’s native Faroese is a soft and pithy ending which boasts anthemic rousing violins. Landing in the middle of the album, Truth arrives as a lighthouse sized beacon of a highlight, feeling more honest and in depth with long drawn-out notes and delicate hushed tones over highly heart wrenching minor chords.
Words Kyle Bryony
London duo Girlhood, comprising Tessa Cavanna and Christian Pinchbeck, met in early 2017 and almost immediately began making music together, resulting in a flurry of activity and a debut EP released in 2018. Critical acclaim followed with the track Bad Decisions, which garnered significant airplay before the duo made the decision to take a break. Here, they began working on solo material under the name Tiece and Pinchbeck. Reconvening in earnest in late 2019, the songs began to flow again. First came the gospel-tinged single The Love I Need, followed by the jocundly buoyant It Might Take A Woman and Queendom, where sparse instrumentation is meshed with emotive vocals, each track featured on this debut album. As the titles suggest, Cavanna’s lyrics are focused on womanhood and its many forms. Ultimately what binds the songs together is love,
human relations and a universal understanding of the need to be loved in an era of transparency and honesty. Girlhood also demonstrates the intelligent use of sound samples throughout, most notably and effectively on Fall Away where the contrasting sounds are subtly magnified against the tender fragility of the instrumentation. Taking cues from Fugees, late 1980s hip hop, The Avalanches and 1990s neo-soul, the duo records and produces its music on a narrowboat on Regents Canal, bringing a distinctly British setting to its worldly and diverse range of influences. Across a pleasingly concise 10 tracks, the album reboots the sound of the late 1990s / early 2000s, though it could also conceivably have been part of the same scene. Girlhood has somehow conquered the art of balancing sumptuous melodies with hyphenated descriptions like pop-soul and gospel-pop.
Words Matt Swain
Hugar THE VASULKA EFFECT
Icelandic duo Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson – who Soft emotive pianos could calm anyone to slumber if now go by Hugar – have worked with some of Iceland’s they hadn’t been already. This is smooth listening. Maintaining a similar pace throughout this extremely most treasured musicians, from Björk to Sigur Rós. Here, they have crafted an ominous score for a documentary long soundtrack, it does feel, at certain points, that the charting the lives and work of Steina Vasulka – a classical music would be more exciting when listened to alongside the Vasulka documentary. However, the glitchy Blue violinist – and Czech filmmaker Woody Vasulka. After producing work for the film, the duo decided to Dome brings respite to the album’s predominantly take the ideas even further, resulting in a 20-song opus mono-mood sound design, with clicks and crackles inspired by the creative journey. It is a beautiful swathing arriving out of the more brazen-sounding synthesisers. The ear glitter of Warhol provides so much of an experience – regardless of whether you’re listening along with the film – it feels otherworldly and akin to ambient dreamlike aesthetic, with twinkling bells being deep in the ocean bombarded by slowly pulsing discerning it from the, at points, massage table bliss that sonar waves. Indeed, Þórisson and Jónsson came from a surrounds it. This record is impressive as a body of work, small desolate town, and these sweeping landscapes can – descriptive and skilful. However, at this length, it might be heard influencing each and every track. Hugar has need the visual accompaniment of The Vasulka Effect to brought into reality something meditative and peaceful. feel complete – in its fully-fledged visceral form.
Words Kyle Bryony
Death in the Making ROBERT CAPA
Robert Capa’s (1913-1954) Death in the Making opens with a striking image: soldiers peering out of a troop train, fists raised, wide smiles. The caption reads: “They did not know that this was now a war. They could not have known what was in store for them.” So begins a powerful documentation of the first year of the Spanish Civil War. The book was first published in February 1938 – whilst the conflict was ongoing – to pay tribute to civilians and soldiers fighting against fascism. The publication was also dedicated to Gerda Taro – Capa’s fellow photojournalist and professional partner, who was killed at the Spanish front in July 1937. Together, they recount the emotions and harrowing realities of conflict. The images are a testament to human resilience in the face of crisis, to sacrifice and tremendous courage. Capa’s impactful photographs of Madrid show soldiers
waiting on the outskirts of the city, engaging in games of chess and writing letters home. “When they arrive, there will be no guarantee that the sender is still alive,” he notes. Inside the capital, Capa reflects on the human impact of conflict: civilians living amongst wreckage, destroyed buildings and subways. The collection captures momentary victories alongside a sense of terror – blurred soldiers run into combat. This new edition has arisen for multiple reasons – not least because the subject matter resonates with today’s world. On the front cover is Capa’s famous Falling Soldier, which records the death of a Republican militiaman in 1936. It is now listed as one of the 100 most influential images of all time. Cything Young, Curator at ICP, New York, notes: “If any photograph at the time could represent the beauty of sacrifice for cause, it was that one.”
Words Eleanor Sutherland
The Architecture of Bathing CHRISTIE PEARSON
“There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” Writing in praise of the humble bathtub in her 1963 novel The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath celebrates the remedial delights of bathing and the near-spiritual experience of a good soak. Christie Pearson, in The Architecture of Bathing: Body, Landscape, Art, also evangelises the art of immersion. Bathhouses have a long history as places of congregation: of cleansing, sex, prayer and healing. The story of where and how people bathe communally, writes Pearson, is an age-old one about intimacy and commons, from the ancient Roman baths to the lesbian and trans bathhouse events, like Pussy Palace in Toronto. A mix of critical theory, art and biography, Pearson’s queer, eco-feminist readings take the plunge into many cultures across the globe. Travel to Jordan and find
tourists free-floating on the salt-rich Dead Sea. Or India, where neighbours wash daily side-by-side: “You walk into the river, submerge yourself three times, then walk back out.” Cover to cover, the book is culturally saturated. Like bathing, the artwork is all about full immersion. Carl Sagan and Allen Ginsberg notably visited sensorydeprivation tanks for their mind-altering properties. Similarly, Pearson’s own projects explore the transformative potential of immersive experiences. In 2006 she collaborated on THEWAVES, a sound installation in the form of a city-scale party, in which a downtown swimming pool was turned into a Roman thermae for a one-off Night Swim, featuring DJ sets amplified above and below water. The Architecture of Bathing, then, is inherently about sense and censure: an excellent study into the artistic, medicinal and spiritual qualities of public bathing.
Words Jack Solloway
MIT Press mitpress.mit.edu
Women in Concrete Poetry 1959–1979 ALEX BALGIU & MÓNICA DE LA TORRE
A tongue probes the keys of a typewriter on the cover of Women in Concrete Poetry, interrogating its gently concave surfaces. In a series of further images, the tongue catches itself on the striker bars, seeking out the pinched spaces in-between. Readers might interpret this as a gesture of wry, interrogatory humour – a comment on stereotypical contrasts between masculine rationality as the seat of language and feminine sensuality as an untameable force playing at its edges. Or, perhaps, this is an attempt to seek out new ways of interacting with the written word and its tools of production. The work in question is Poema (1979), by the Brazilian artist Lenora de Barros – a suitable title inviting myriad interpretations. Concrete poetry as a genre has always veered between literature and visual art. Indeed, as the editors note in their introduction to this collection of work
by 50 women based in countries from Japan to Uruguay, most of them avoided “prescriptive pronouncements.” Suitably enough then, the “poems” run from the shimmering and towering typewriter creations of Paula Claire and Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt to the cursive, hand-printed constellations of Suzanne Bernard and Annalies Klophaus. Other pieces incorporate performed gesture. At the centre of these intersecting aesthetic and cultural strands is Mirella Bentivoglio – an Italian text-based artist whose 1978 all-female exhibition Materializzazione del Linguaggio is a call to action, to which this volume responds. However, this publication moves beyond Bentivoglio’s Eurocentric curation to incorporate a truly global range of artists, practitioners and writers. This selection is a must-have for lovers of the linguistic in art – the visual in language – and all the spaces in-between.
Words Greg Thomas
PIETRO MARULLO Pietro Marullo is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brussels who is associated with Les Halles de Schaerbeek, the Oriente Occidente Dance Festival and the Crossing the Sea project. His practice lies at the intersection of visual and performing arts, installation and new technologies and is focused on social, historical and anthropological topics. The artist’s works have been presented in festivals and events such as Danse élargie at Théâtre de la Ville, Sadler’s Wells, Beijing Dance Festival, Seoul International Dance Festival, the Kolkata Centre for Creativity and the Aerowaves network. Since 2015, Marullo has been developing aesthetic reflections on our species through the use of bas-relief. It is a philosophical statement that starts from an analysis of the Gaia-phonie – the sound forms of our relationship with the planet and the forces that are shaping it. He is currently working on Decameron Neotenico, a project comprising numerous formats, studies and disciplines such as AI, film, neuroscience, dance, fashion and bioclimatic architecture. The aim is to explore humanity through the new spiritual, scientific and cultural borders of our species.
www.pietromarullo.com I Vimeo: pietromarullo Instagram: @pietro.marullo
LENNETTE NEWELL Lennette Newell is a visual artist based in California. The Wonder Wander series (in progress) comprises black and white digital composites. Images of American landscapes and abandoned structures are paired with studio shots of rescued and educational animals; shown here is a juvenile Silver Spangled Hamburg chicken and an old schoolhouse. The two layers come together in dramatic contrast, between reality and artifice, movement and stasis.
www.lennettenewell.com I Instagram: @lennettenewell
VERENA BACHL Verena Bachl is a Berlin-based artist. Inspired by experimental methods within contemporary art, natural sciences and engineering, her work can be seen as ongoing research which oscillates between these fields. Whilst searching for new ways of materialising knowledge and experimenting with aesthetic and phenomenological effects, she creates light objects, sculptures and spatial installations. One of her latest projects is Wave Fragment – a kinetic light sculpture that displays wind-related flow fields by the reflection of light; it is inspired by the continuous movement of water. The work was exhibited inter alia at the Ars Electronica .ART Global Gallery. Bachl is currently working on a new series All Colours Depend on Light, a spectral analysis of light that includes autobiographical elements. “As a consequence of entering the Anthropocene and its manifold prophecies, I try to overcome the invention of the dualism of nature and culture by connecting them. In search of these connections, I create moments of autopoiesis, a stage in which a complex system is capable of maintaining itself and its surrounding in a continuous dynamic.”
www.verenabachl.com I Instagram: @verena.bachl
BRYCE WATANASOPONWONG Bryce Watanasoponwong is a Thai-Australian artist who combines street photography and abstract art to create compositions that layer textures. He notes: “I love to explore surroundings most people pass by without ever noticing: worlds of daily lives that, upon closer inspection, open into stories of perspective.” Watanasoponwong made his first US sale in 2019, and donated the proceeds to The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE). Up next is his participation in The Other Art Fair Sydney.
www.bryce-art.com I Instagram: @brycewatana
For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or email@example.com
ANNE HARKNESS Anne Harkness is an award-winning oil painter based in the USA. With a background in design, she gravitates towards subjects with a strong graphic image, bold aesthetics and a vivid colour palette. Urban and domestic scenes are transformed through marks that cut through the works with angular detail and compositional balance. The artist is particularly drawn to furniture and telephone poles, where lines intersect and spark interest in the everyday. Harkness’s pieces can be seen in numerous shows, galleries and museums, and she is represented by Vision Gallery, Morehead City, North Carolina.
GIOVANNI DE BENEDETTO Giovanni De Benedetto combines painting and photography in a synergistic practice that reflects a desire to connect people through empathy. This duality runs throughout the Premature series – the viewer is an active part of the creative process. In 2019 De Benedetto exhibited at PULSE Art Fair and will be taking part in the Paratissima Art Fair, October-December in Turin.
www.anneharkness.com I Instagram: @annephark
giovannidebenedetto.com I IG: @debenedetto.giovanni
Kiyomi Baird creates kinetic compositions in multidimensional spaces that explode with energy. Collaged forms coalesce at the centre of each piece, provoking open-ended exploration. Colour and shadow move in synergy, offering a sense of mystery that borders on the spiritual. Currently based in Santa Fe, Baird has lived and exhibited work across three continents.
US-based Rui Sha is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on sculpture and new media. A background as a furniture designer in her native Beijing and an MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago have influenced her art practice. Video and nature soundscapes are combined with objects fabricated in natural materials to become carriers of emotional expressions.
Anonima/Luci is an artist duo based in Milan. Their experimental works intertwine lasers and sound, building on the tension between electronic signals. Their projects are both architectural and ephemeral, exploring how technology can be driven by, and become, its own branch of aesthetics. The result is a restructuring of the space, helping to alter the viewer's perception. www.anonimaluci.com I Instagram: @anonima.luci
For Spain-based artist Cristina Mato, ceramics can act like fabric. Slabs of clay are cut into threads in order to build structures full of “seams.” This multidimensional approach allows Mato to push each piece to the limit of its physicality and design. She says: “I find joy in building something original and meaningful from something that did not previously exist.” www.cristinamato.com I Instagram: @crsmato
Flor Troconis is a Venezuelan artist based in Miami. She has travelled widely, fuelled by curiosity and an appetite for experimentation. She notes: “Inspiration reveals itself unexpectedly from the abstract beauty of architectural structures; misty evenings in England; desert wastelands; lush tropics. They transcend into geometric forms, lines and hues that are life-affirming.” www.FlorTroconisArt.com I Instagram: @flortro
Julijana Ravbar is a Slovenia-based artist whose paintings feature rich, deep hues, energetic strokes, spontaneity and playfulness and are used to create a powerful sense of colour, shape and energy. Her numerous works can be found throughout the world in private collections and commercial enterprises. www.julijana-ravbar-abstract-art.myshopify.com www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvUicdkFjvY
Kevin Umbel is a US-based photographer known for bold abstractions of everyday objects. His style leans towards macro compositions, though is not limited to particular subject matter; recent works have been inspired by recurring childhood dreams. Umbel notes: "I hope to disarm the viewer of preconceived ideas and allow them to wander their psyche." www.kevinumbelphotography.com I IG: @kevinumbelphotography
Rotterdam-based Michelle Piergoelam is a fine art photographer who creates stories based upon cultural myths, dreams and memories. She consciously draws from native legends and geography, building on the importance to preserve and share in the diversity of history and anthropology. These images bear witness to the human condition and our innate desire to tell stories. www.michellepiergoelam.com
For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Beason is a British printmaker based in the mountains of northern New Mexico. His work, which includes monotypes and serigraphs, touches upon political statements; contemporary takes on Japanese woodblock prints; and homages to icons of art, jazz and social activism. He was a recipient of the prestigious Taos Fall Arts Festival's Visionary Artist award in 2019. www.GauchoBlue.com
Nicoletta Cerasomma is an Italian conceptual artist whose work is bound up in an ambiguous and cinematic imagemaking that borders the real and the fantastic. Her approach provokes contemplation and reconfiguration of commonplace subjects via playful revelation of the bizarre and the uncanny. www.nicolettacerasomma.it I Instagram: @nicolettacerasomma
Paris-based Philippe Sarfati uses street photography as a means to explore and study our relationship with space. In 2019, whilst working as an architect, his images were selected for several international competitions and festivals; as such he has established himself as a photographer and is designing a book based upon the Territories project. www.philippe-sarfati-archi-photo.squarespace.com I IG: @sarfati.philippe
Renata Dutrée's photography explores the acts of hiding or revealing – living with secrets and the journey to concealing these from the world. There is a sense of apprehension that fills the compositions – objects act as metaphors for something else happening beyond the frame. Drawing the eye through bold aesthetics, colours and props, the images then reveal a deeper truth. www.renatadutreephotography.com
The Blühen Studio
London-based Amber Roper, founder of The Blühen Studio, specialises in handwoven textiles. She creates two-dimensional pieces inspired by the surrounding environment and western modernism. Working intuitively, Roper builds up depth and density organically in her fibre art, resulting in beautiful compositions. She holds a BA in Textile Design from Central Saint Martins. www.thebluhenstudio.london I Instagram: @thebluhenstudio
Oxfordshire-based artist Wendy Freestone specialises in figurative sculpture: "I enjoy seeing how people interact, the space they take up as well as their presence.” She believes the family unit is of fundamental importance and undertakes numerous commissions for contemporary pieces that depict milestone events, capturing a moment in time and a stage in family life. www.wendyfreestone.co.uk I IG: @wendyfreestone
Ana Hop is a Mexican City-based artist whose documentary photography provides intimate portraits of individuals from a broad range of contexts and identities. The images are centred around communities that are often misrepresented and stigmatised in contemporary society. Hop's editorial work includes portraiture, travel and interior assignments. www.anahop.com Instagram: @anahop
UK-based Arati Reddy-Devlin is a graphic designer, fine art printmaker and an art and design teacher. Her detailed pen and ink landscapes were inspired by time spent living in Croatia – experience of island life ignited an interest for a micro world of natural forms. Reddy-Devlin's latest series combines her passions for sci-fi, robotics, mechanical parts and medieval art, expressions of which are interwoven with intricate natural shapes. www.arati.art
Ariel Ruby is an Australia-based artist whose experiential installations explore a liquid relationship between polarities: beauty and the grotesque; synthetic and natural; human and nonhuman. Ruby notes the highlystructured landscapes "embrace a synthetic aesthetic to emulate similar connections as sensuous experiences of 'natural' phenomena." www.arielruby.com Instagram: @arielruby
Colorado Springs-based Ashley Andersen is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is motivated by the sensual ambiguity within conversations around issues of memory, histories and experiences. By examining the memory housed within materials through immersive site-specific installations, she opens a dialogue between the present and an ignored or forgotten past – the familiar juxtaposed with the strange. Instagram: @ashley.andersen.studio
South Korea-based Buyong Hwang is a painter with a background in graphic design. His works delve into the subconsciousness through abstract stimuli. Each silhouette features recognisable forms – such as birds and leaves – but does so subtly, asking the viewer to look deeper and see something new. Hwang has participated in art fairs throughout Europe and Asia. www.buyong.com Instagram: @buyong_hwang
Jad Oakes explores the possibilities of photography and moving image for installations, prints and drawings. The Passing is part of the Vessels collection and was created during lockdown in London. Made using a variety of woods, the sculpture features a plano-convex lens; rays of light are captured in a silent film. The intimate, emotive work entices contemplation and memory. www.jadoakes.studio Instagram: @jado_studio
California-based artist Jeni Bate notes: "I paint the skies with peace and passion, because that's the way they paint me." Each piece begins as a watercolour skyscape – using unlimited colours – which are cut and reassembled. Terminology for her signature technique "refracturing" was recognised by Kolaj magazine in 2016. Bate also writes poems, which are then incorporated into the paintings. www.skyscapesforthesoul.com
Lara Baksu works with sound, text, video and photography to explore new ways of storytelling. Images include states of omission or reflection, where bodies are subject to their emotions, connections and contexts. She is interested in everyday interactions and how we “put” things together in our minds; how cultural systems influence human perception. Instagram: @larabaksu www.vimeo.com/larabaksu
For submission enquiries regarding the Artists’ Directory, contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or email@example.com
ori gerard frances
Ori Gerard Frances is a digital artist and photographer whose work has been widely exhibited. He believes the language of poetry and art is the only way to express certain aspects of our experience of reality in subtle and complex ways. Frances' recent awards and homourable mentions include the Tokyo International Foto Awards and the IPA's International Photography Awards. www.origerard.myportfolio.com
Rebecca Hann holds a BA in Fine Art Mixed Media from the University of Westminster. She is drawn to water as a subject matter – its elemental qualities are explored across photography and the moving image. Hann investigates humans’ growing disconnection to nature, playing with imitation and the replication of the organic world through lens-based media. www.lifeincreativity.com Instagram: @becka_visual_artist
UK-born artist Samantha Redfern holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. She views her practice as a love letter to paint, taking inspiration from the world around her, abstracting it and giving it a unique twist from the imagination. The resulting works are a bold expression of colour and form. Based in Singapore, Redfern works both independently and with international agents and galleries. www.samantharedfern.com Instagram: @samantharedfern.fineart
UK-based artist Sarah-Louise Bedford has expressed herself through art since she was a teenager. She experiments with various media, and challenges herself to develop new skills. This results in a diverse range of work that depicts her mental health journey. Bedford's compositions are holistic; they represent the power of creative expression as a tool to understanding the self. sarahlouiseartgallery.weebly.com
silvia De Giorgi
Silvia De Giorgi’s images interrogate the relationship between humans and landscapes. She uses drawing, photography and frottage to show how the land is marked by people – across eroded coastlines, rock carvings and ancient monuments. De Giorgi was shortlisted for the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards and The Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards. www.silvia-degiorgi.com Instagram: @silvia.de.giorgi
Steve Chivalry is a UK-based fine artist who makes use of numerous media to express both complex and minimal concepts. His work tackles controversial subject matter such as the notions and definitions of love, politics and religion. Chivalry challenges the viewer to think outside of cultural expectations and parameters, engaging with their own opinions and personal beliefs. www.chivalryart.com
Taylah Hasaballah is an AustralianEgyptian painter based in Sydney. Her work explores the impact of tempo and rhythm in building an image. These slowed-down formalist deconstructions envision the image as a totem of stillness and calm, suspending reality in a world that is endlessly accelerating. Pictured: Zircon, 2019. Acrylic and charcoal on paper, 150cm x 112cm. www.taylahhasaballah.com Instagram: @taylahhasaballah
Werner Roelandt is a Belgian fine art photographer. In The World From Above, he documents various locations from new angles, brought together by combining multiple images. For each work, photographs were taken from a same spot without the use of drone technology. Though realistic, the results appear as surreal compositions – both alien and familiar. www.theworldfromabove.be Instagram: @wernerroelandt
The Destination for Art and Culture
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Sethembile Msezane, Untitled (Youth Day) 2014.
Shoair Mavlian Director, Photoworks
This year's edition of Photoworks is entitled Propositions for Alternative Narratives, and is about rethinking what a photography festival is, who it is for, and how it can be experienced. Firstly, we offer audiences a "festival in a box," demonstrating alternative curation. This model is portable â€“ free from the limitations of location, physical space and time. Artworks will travel to peopleâ€™s homes, classrooms, and community spaces as a dissemination of creative ideas. Secondly, in Sussex, we will display a number of public billboards in public spaces. Finally, a series of free online discussions, podcasts, films and festival tours explore the festival's key themes. Artists, collectives, writers and broadcasters consider plurality through different modes of storytelling. Photoworks Festival runs 24 September - 25 October. photoworks.org.uk.