THE ART & CULTURE MAGAZINE
Issue 74 December / January 2017
Iván Navarro creates political spaces for his paradoxical installation works
A new publication reﬂects on design as an evolving journey of innovation
Architectural form is redeﬁned as a dialogue across built environments
Viktor&Rolf blur the lines between fashion and art at NGV Melbourne
UK £4.95 Europe €9.99 USA $13.49
Welcome Editor’s Note
On the Cover Andrey Yakovlev and Lili Aleeva – known as Andrey-Lili – are a Moscow-based photography and design duo that started working together in 1998. Their lavish shoots are a consideration of environment and theme: rich colours and textures provide spatial variance against the domestic vanitas. www.behance.net/andrewlili. (p.116). Cover Image: Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev. Art Director: Lili Aleeva. Model: Risha (ABA Models). MUAH: Pavel Natsevich. Style: Hanna Yatsko, Ruslan Shakurov. Collection: Hanna Yatsko.
If there’s one thing that 2016 taught us, it is that there is no steadfast rule to anything: logic can easily go out the window and the world is in very delicate place both socially and politically. The migrant crisis, Brexit and Trump signify a change in tides, but I am an optimist / realist. These things do not define who we are; we need to work hard to make life as great as it can be. On a macro level the future seems to present us with a number of challenges, but I believe that trials are sent to test our endurance and resilience. I keep telling everyone I know that it will be okay – and I mean that. This year has been wonderful for me, I had a little girl in May, and maybe it’s through these rose-tinted glasses that I can see a positive future ahead, once we get through current circumstances. The New Year brings change and uncertainty, but it’s in trying times that serendipity occurs and this is a thought worth holding on to. Inside this issue find out about Chilean artist Iván Navarro’s latest show; which opens in New York. Known for his distinctive socio-political light installations that deconstruct power structures, it’s certainly a relevant time for a survey of his work. The mammoth Lisbon Architecture Triennale focuses on form and function with a look at how urbanisation has contributed to the society’s development through a series of exhibitions and symposiums. Avant-garde design duo Viktor&Rolf echo these thoughts, using fabric as a means of exploration of the crossover between fashion and art. In photography, seven diverse practitioners offer works that explore urban landscapes, fine art and portraiture. Lauren Marsolier, Romina Ressia, Patrick Joust, Giorgio Stefanoni and Cristina Coral all negotiate the power of the image and its cultural implications. And indeed Gregory Crewdson’s show, opening in 2017 at Photographers’ Gallery, London, is one of our highlights of the year. Cover photographers Andrey-Lili play with colour and design forging that link between fine art and fashion. Finally, the Last Words go to Julio Le Parc, as he discusses the intersection between light, space and art. Cherie Federico
News 14 Unfolding Ecological Processes Chrystel Lebas embarks on a collaboration with a renowned naturalist to connect past and present.
16 Reflecting on Topical Narratives Commissioned works from 11 artists capture the emotions evoked by technology and commerce.
18 Transforming the Quotidian Laure Prouvost creates an imagined museum through video works at HangarBicocca, Milan.
15 Addressing Shifting Histories EMMA Museum, Espoo, showcases 22 artists who investigate the evolving concept of modernity.
17 Redefining Built Environments A major new exhibition at MoMA, New York, sees changing perceptions borne from displacement.
19 Tensions within Performance The first comprehensive retrospective of Ragnar Kjartansson interrogates human relationships.
22 Changing Philosophies Thames & Hudson publish Design: The Whole Story, a timeline of imagination, industrialisation and the unprecedented future of digitalisation.
50 Figurative Illumination Chilean installation artist Iván Navarro utilises the space of Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, in order to subvert expectations and politicise instruments.
74 Auroral Metropolis Patrick Joust captures the kaleidoscopic palettes of American cities, inviting viewers into nocturnal worlds filled with sleeping houses and railways.
28 Estranged Landscapes French photographer Lauren Marsolier alienates the viewer through equivocal landscapes that are simultaneously familiar and devoid of specifics.
56 Interior Aspirations Cristina Coral plays with uncanny compositions, featuring domesticated figures that become lost in neutralised corridors and unnerving bedrooms.
86 Adaptive Environments Providing a fresh perspective on technological growth, Giorgio Stefanoni’s series demonstrates intriguing viewpoints and structural knowledge.
40 Cultural Observation Romina Ressia investigates contemporary society through fine art portraiture, charting how we have evolved through playful, satirised compositions.
68 Sculpted Expressions NGV, Melbourne, select works from Viktor&Rolf’s avant-garde and cerebral collection that seek to expose fashion as a medium for artistic invention.
98 Visceral Construction The Lisbon Architecture Triennale discusses how each and every building invokes movement, be it in our thought processes or our daily activities.
130 Creating International Dialogues The sixth instalment of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival challenged cinematic possibilities whilst supporting the work of independent filmmakers.
134 Folklore Inspired Melodies Leeds-born Menace Beach consider the occult in their new album, Lemon Memory, mixing aspects of the surreal into their fantastical song-writing.
137 Imaginative Soundscapes In their latest release, Canadian project Austra share an optimistic vision for the future through unique lyrics and pop-inspired electronica.
138 Formal Innovation A new celebration of circus arts opens in Sydney, showcasing the best in the medium and testing the boundaries of mental and physical capability.
162 Julio Le Parc For his new exhibition at Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Julio Le Parc considers the attitude of the artist as a tool for changing minds and developing states.
20 10 to See 128 Exhibitions 133 Films 137 Music
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Contributors: Ruby Beesley, Kyle Bryony, Bryony Byrne, Grace Caffyn, Polly Checkland, Niamh Coghlan, Kim Connerton, Tony Earnshaw, Anna Feintuck, Colin Herd, Chloe Hodge, Rubén Cervantes Garrido, Erik Martiny, Selina Oakes, Regina Papachlimitzou, Daniel Potts, Charlotte R.A., Paul Risker, Matt Swain, Beth Webb,
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Chrystel Lebas, Re-visiting – Pinus silvestris [illeg.] – Plate n°1245. Aviemore, Rothiemurchus, August 2012. 57°8.691’N 3°50.304’ W.
Unfolding Ecological Processes CHRYSTEL LEBAS: REGARDING NATURE Having made her reputation with panoramic landscape photographs, usually shot at twilight using long exposures and revealing the complex relationship between nature, human presences and unfolding ecological processes, Chrystel Lebas (b. 1966) now embarks on a new project with the National History Museum, London, which sees her collaborate with a naturalist across a time gap of 90 years. It began with a collection of anonymous glass negatives in the museum’s archives, depicting the British landscape at the beginning of the 20th century. Lebas was commissioned to create new work inspired by the mysterious collection. During this process, the identity of the original photographer was discovered: botanist and ecologist Edward James Salisbury (1886-1978), a former director of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. Huis Marseille presents the results of these connections across time and disciplines in Regarding Nature. New photographs and films are combined with the original glass plates and archive documents from the Natural History Museum and Kew Gardens. The result addresses our experience of nature and the impact of climate change. Hiking through remote landscapes, often returning to locations in different seasons, is an integral part of Lebas’s approach, so she chose to retrace Salisbury’s journeys through Scotland, Norfolk and Devon. Both sets of images capture pine forests and wandering sand dunes, rugged and
empty parts of the UK, including Arrochar, Culbin Sands “Hiking through and Blakeney Point, which despite their romantic desolation remote landscapes, are in fact carefully managed and protected nature reserves. often returning Though Lebas employed GPS to locate the spots where to locations in Salisbury stood to shoot his images, the point was not literally different seasons, is comparing the landscape then and now but contrasting their an integral part of different visions of it, as artist and scientist. She also visited Lebas’s approach, so the Dutch island of Ameland; its landscape of sand dunes she chose to retrace Salisbury’s journeys demonstrates a process of continuous transformation. Lebas grew up in the remote forests of southern France, through Scotland, and the scent of pine trees, the mistral winds and the slowly Norfolk and Devon.” invading dusk remain the defining memories which shape her work today. She obtained an MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art in London in 1997 and has based herself in the city ever since. Her acclaimed series Between Dog and Wolf (2004-2005), Blue Hour (2005-2006) and Études, BelVal (2008-2009) have been exhibited at venues including Victoria and Albert Museum and The Photographers’ Gallery, London, and the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris. The photographer looks beyond the pictorial qualities of landscape; she selects locations where nature manifests through a convergence of circumstances – the presence of Huis Marseille, Amsterdam. human beings, ecological processes, climate change. Twilight, 10 December - 5 March. when the landscape undergoes a very slow transformation in colours and atmosphere, remains her abiding fascination. www.huismarseille.nl
Addressing Shifting Histories IN SEARCH OF THE PRESENT one of the greatest paradigm shifts in the Anthropocene. This “The New Me reflects is explored through the theme of Digital Mankind, reflecting on an age defined on the far-reaching consequences of technological by the pursuit of transformation that are yet to be fully realised or understood. self-development Finally, Nature Kingdom addresses the age-old question and by narratives of the relationship between human beings and the natural of personal growth world they inhabit, in an era when we have never had more and change, where technological ability to shape the world to our desires, but at every aspect of one’s the same time face spiralling threats of catastrophic climate public persona can be carefully curated.” change and environmental disaster driven by our actions. The artists responding to these themes, from across many disciplines and countries, are: David Altmejd, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Harun Farocki, Maria Friberg, Hannaleena Heiska, Camille Henrot, Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir, Sasha Huber, Artor Jesus Inkerö, Saija Kassinen, Yazan Khalili, Klara Kristalova, Elke Silvia Krystufek, Antti Laitinen, Jonathan Monk, Ben Okri, Erwin Olaf, Aza Shadenova, Elly Strik, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Anne Tompuri and Akram Zaatari. The exhibition deliberately acknowledges that each artist’s cultural and ideological background is always present in their work, and in the way that they respond to the questions at stake. Thus, it encourages viewers to actively think about the EMMA, Espoo, Finland. issues raised. Just as Paavolainen interrogated and revealed Until 8 January. the world around him, In Search of The Present reasserts that the role of art is to pose critique and question the everyday. www.emma.museum/en
Erwin Olaf, Berlin series: Berlin, Clärchens Ballhaus, Mitte, 10 July 2012.
In the late 1920s, on the eve of the rise of totalitarian regimes across Europe that promised to usher in a new society and a type of existence, the Finnish modernist writer Olavi Paavolainen presented his view of the modern human being, and the essence of what it is to be human in a world being transformed by technology. He wrote in praise of urban life, machines and the car, taking inspiration from contemporaries such as André Gide. The title of his 1929 collection of essays provides the starting point for EMMA’s new exhibition series, which also marks the venue’s 10th anniversary. What struck the curators (Pilvi Kalhama, Henna Paunu and Päivi Talasmaa) about Paavolainen’s work was the way in which its concerns and questions still resonate today. In Search Of The Present features 22 international artists, whose contributions span sound art, spatial installations and commissioned works, and apply the themes of Paavolanien’s writings to the 21st century. It explores the nature of our species as we inhabit a global digital world, and our relationship to the environment and to fellow humans. Organised around three headings, The New Me reflects on an age defined by the pursuit of self-development and by narratives of personal growth and change, where every aspect of one’s public persona can be carefully curated. The emergence of the internet, and the corresponding digitalisation of every aspect of life, social life and work, is
Rural Urban Framework, City of Nomads.
Reflecting on Topical Narratives FEAR AND LOVE: REACTIONS TO A COMPLEX WORLD The fact that design is deeply connected to the forces of commerce and culture seems self-evident, and such a connection is a theme that the Design Museum has often explored since its inception in 1989. But the museum’s latest project suggests a deeper hypothesis: that design is a field in which we see revealed the underlying psychological forces that shape the mood of the present – forces of fear and love. The exhibition’s broad brief involves creating works that unpack how design is implicated in wider issues that define our era. This has led to 11 installations by some of the most innovative designers and architects currently practising, including OMA, Hussein Chalayan, Kenya Hara and Neri Oxman. They address subjects including sentient robots, the ways nomadic cultures adapt to city life, and the transformation of human sexuality in the networked world of social media, turning the museum into a laboratory of ideas. The contribution from OMA – the architecture practice founded by Rem Koolhaas – tackles the topic that will define political discourse in the UK for years to come: the recent referendum vote to leave the European Union. The Pan-European Living Room is an installation that is furnished with a piece of design from each of the EU member states, suggesting that our very notion of the domestic interior has been shaped by an ideal of European co-operation and trade. The fears and taboos surrounding the end of life combine
with new technologies in the installation from Oxman, an “They address subjects architect, designer, and professor at MIT in Boston. Vespers including sentient is a series of death masks created using 3D printing. robots, the ways Traditionally such masks were made using wax or plaster, nomadic cultures and Oxman, who recently created a mask for singer and artist adapt to city life, and Björk, speculates on the idea of transformation in death. the transformation of In Room Tone, fashion designer Chalayan, the only UK- human sexuality in based contributor, employs wearable technology to address the networked world of the privately repressed emotions and everyday anxieties of social media, turning life in the modern city. His devices detect the wearer’s hidden the museum into a moods and project them into public space for all to see. laboratory of ideas.” Hong Kong-based Rural Urban Framework explores how the nomads of Mongolia are giving up traditional freedoms for life on the fringes of the city. Their installation City of Nomads examines how to adapt the traditional ger (yurt) for a more communal life. A transformed ger is constructed to educate visitors on a culture approaching permanent change. The mysteries of non-human intelligence – which evokes anxieties of the uncanny – are examined in both Madeline Gannon’s transformation of a 1,200 kg industrial robot into a mechanical creature named Mimus, which responds to visitors, and the contribution from Amsterdam-based Design Museum, London. Metahaven. Their film Love Letter to Sea Shepherd is a work Until 23 April. of advocacy for the anti-whaling group and a meditation on the unknowable consciousness of the giant ocean-dwellers. www.designmuseum.org
Redefining Built Environments INSECURITIES: TRACING DISPLACEMENT AND SHELTER Shelter. The Swedish furniture giant turned its experience “It is a moment in with self-assembly products to creating a temporary shelter time which challenges that can be delivered in a flat pack, to bring dignity and ideas of the built safety to refugees. The needs of displaced people were at environment, the heart of the brief, and the result was tested by refugee with designers and families in Ethiopia and Iraq. The structure an be assembled architects responding with no extra tools, includes a solar-powered lamp, and tens to the immediate of thousands are on their way to international refugee camps. needs of this Also displayed is work from Estudio Teddy Cruz, an ar- humanitarian crisis, chitectural practice in the US / Mexico border zone. Despite and also questioning increased militarisation of the border, a constant movement assumptions about takes place in two directions – illegal migrants moving north shelter and security.” and the waste objects of US consumer society being taken south. From structural materials taken from condemned houses to disused tyres, objects are put to use in the informal settlements on the Mexican side. Cruz takes inspiration from these settlements and their unofficial recycling programme in his work with non-governmental organisations and nonprofit organisations to develop an affordable architecture. Henk Wildschut and Tiffany Chung are amongst the many other artists, architects and innovators who feature here, responding to the circumstances of an era increasingly MoMA, New York. defined by forced displacement. Curated by Sean Anderson Until 22 January. and Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, Insecurities faces up to the disruption of the deep link between structure and security. www.moma.org
Tobias Hutzler, Nizip II, Container Camp, 2014. Digital Print, 20 x 30 in. Courtesy of the Artist.
At present, some 65 million people around the world are “displaced”, fleeing war, persecution or poverty – a situation that is set only to deepen with the onset of the more profound impacts of climate change. Political borders have become increasingly porous, and as a result are areas where camps and temporary structures are now permanent fixtures. These have become a physical manifestation of increased globalisation and interdependency which, in some quarters, has begun to spark a nationalistic political backlash. It is a moment in time which challenges ideas of the built environment, with designers and architects responding to the immediate needs of this humanitarian crisis, and also questioning assumptions about shelter and security and how the construction of communities intersects with human rights. MoMA examines this response to unfolding events in Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter, addressing the troubling inversion whereby the built environment becomes a temporary and transitional place rather than the embodiment of modernity and security. It forms part of the ongoing series Citizens and Borders, discrete projects related to works in MoMA’s collection which offer a critical perspective on histories of migration, territory and displacement. One key example of innovative design responding to need is the “modular emergency structure” jointly created by the IKEA Foundation, the UN refugee agency UNHCR, and Better
Laure Prouvost, Wantee, 2013. HD video and mixed media installation. Installation view, Schwitters in Britain, Tate Britain, London. Photo: Tate, Lucy Dawkins. Courtesy of the artist and carlier | gebauer, Berlin; Nathalie Obadia, Paris.
Transforming the Quotidian LAURE PROUVOST Laure Prouvost’s solo exhibition GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center sees the artist (b. 1978) create one of her most ambitious projects: an imagined museum making use of videos, large-scale installations, light and sound, to tell the tale of an artist who vanished into a tunnel he created. The story presents a fictionalised grandfather of Prouvost’s, a conceptual artist and friend of Dadaist Kurt Schwitters, who, according to family legend, claimed to have dug a tunnel to Africa and then disappeared one day for good, leaving Prouvost’s grandmother as the sole guardian of his works. The story first led to Prouvost’s 2013 Turner Prize-winning project Wantee, which included several sculptures by the “grandfather”, now transformed into household objects, and video showing the grandmother character talking about the need to take care of them by creating a bizarre museum. Prouvost ranges freely between different systems of representation, alternating fiction, nonsense, and an imaginary, dreamlike world with concrete reality. As a French speaker who has lived and worked in London for two decades, she is fascinated by the effects and distortions created by translation, both between languages and between art forms, such as the adaptation of text into image. Some of the pieces here are based on the Scottish artist Rory Macbeth’s surreal translation of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, which was made without knowing German – or even using a dictionary. In her
videos, Provoust makes use of the lexicon of pop music, mass “As a French speaker culture, and the overload of images found on the internet. who has lived and The viewer is often pulled into the thick of the action. worked in London GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center, curated by Roberta for two decades, Tenconi, brings together installations, videos and projections, she is fascinated sculptures and found objects ; together, they form a personal by the effects and museum of shifting layers, where architecture and content distortions created complement each other. The grandfather character is evoked by translation, both for the first time in I Need to Take Care of My Conceptual between languages Grandad (2010) – shot in London at the studio of artist and between art forms, John Latham (1921-2006), for whom Prouvost worked as such as the adaptation an assistant for several years and considered as another of text into image.” grandfather figure in her life – then in The Artist (2010), Wantee (2013) and finally Grandma’s Dream (2013). This last video is shot inside the grandmother’s bedroom, a fanciful, completely pink chamber that seems to invite reverie. The construction of the Visitor Center hints at a broader inquiry into the idea of museums. In the video If It Was (2015) Prouvost challenges museum conventions, creating a place where people can dance and sing, where visitors are greeted with a warm kiss, and can do Zumba or pet the artworks. But it still remains a place where the past takes on meaning for Pirelli HangarBicocca. the present and future. In Prouvost’s imagined museum we Until 9 April. are left with the impression of an outpouring of images and words that stretches the boundaries of the imagination. www.hangarbicocca.org
Tensions within Performance RAGNAR KJARTANSSON
Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors, 2012. Nine channel video projection, colour, sound. Duration: 64 minutes. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik. Production photo: Elisabet Davids.
Humour, irony, and live performances which often make use single, sequin-clad woman strumming an E-minor chord, “Born into a theatrical of music in their exploration of repetition and endurance, are whilst rotating on a pedestal in a gold-tinselled room, the family in Reykjavik, the signature of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976), deliberate kitsch of the staging creating a characteristic he takes on various and are at the forefront of this first comprehensive overview form of tension with the work’s commentary on feminine roles to explore human of his work at Washington DC’s Hirshhorn Museum and objectification. Again, this opposition of disarming humour relationships and Sculpture Garden. Born into a theatrical family in Reykjavik, and seriousness of subject matter is a Kjartansson signature. also to both celebrate Collaboration with rock musicians is a running theme. A Lot and mock the figure he takes on various roles to explore human relationships and Of Sorrow (2013) involved the band The National performing of the artist.” also to both celebrate and mock the figure of the artist. One of the earliest works featured, Me and My Mother, is an their song Sorrow repeatedly over six hours in front of a live ongoing video collaboration with his mother, actress Guðrún audience, filmed on six cameras. To open the retrospective Ásmundsdóttir, dating from 2000. Encompassing four video at the Hirschorn, Ian Svenonious from the cult DC bands screens that showcase performances filmed five years apart, Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up chaired a discussion. Aside from video and performance, painting and drawing the actress repeatedly spits in his face for several minutes. At once provocative, humorous and absurd, the impact of are key to understanding the artist, and his series of 144 the piece derives from the tension between their familial paintings, The End (2009) – made during the Venice Biennale – is on display for the first time in the USA. Within the context relationship and their professional roles as performers. Exhibition highlights at the Hirshhorn include Kjartansson’s of the 2009 economic meltdown, Kjartansson took on the most well-known work to date, The Visitors (2012), a series role of a bohemian artist, day after day painting the portrait of nine life-size video tableaux of a musical performance of the same model, whilst drinking and smoking against at Rokeby Farm in upstate New York. Each musician was the backdrop of the Grand Canal. In doing so, he satirised recorded separately, singing the same refrain, “Once again the disconnection between the art world and the real world. I fall into my feminine ways,” for just over an hour. The Yet the juxtaposition of sorrow and humour, or horror and Hirshhorn, Washington DC. beauty, that he presents suggests a potential way out of this Until 8 January. performances when played together merge into harmony. Woman in E (2016) is also being performed live on every impasse – and how art can grasp the fundamental tensions day of the 12-week run of the exhibition. It features a of the human condition without flinching from them. www.hirshhorn.si.edu
art 1. Robert Rauschenberg, Triathlon (Scenario), 2005. Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. 2. Judy Ledgerwood, Sailors See Green, 2013. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Katherine S. Schamberg by exchange. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago. 3. Michael Schmidt, Untitled, from Porträt, 1983. © Stiftung für Fotografie und Medienkunst mit Archiv Michael Schmidt. 4. Roger Hiorns, Untitled, 2011. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016. 5. Basim Magdy, No Shooting Stars, 2016. Co-comissioned by Jeu de Paume, Paris, Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques and CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux.
10 to See RECOMMENDED EXHIBITIONS THIS SEASON
Tate Modern, London Until 2 April www.tate.org.uk
Robert Rauschenberg’s Monogram (1955-1959) is set to travel to the UK for the first time in over half a century as part of Tate Modern’s retrospective of the influential artist. Famously involving a stuffed goat, interwoven with a tyre, the fragile work is one of Rauschenberg’s trademark Combines : a hybrid of painting and sculpture which challenged the distinction between art materials and everyday objects.
MCA Chicago 17 December - 18 June www.mca.org
The art world is not immune to charges of sexism: male artists are disproportionately represented and command the highest prices. MCA Chicago has deliberately worked to alter this balance, and here presents a selection of bold, brash abstract paintings by female artists, including Mary Heilmann, Charline von Heyl, Judy Ledgerwood and Joyce Pensato, as well as a newer crop of rebels such as Molly ZuckermanHartung and Amy Feldman.
In the midst of the Cold War, a stone’s throw from Checkpoint Charlie at the Berlin Wall, the workingclass West Berlin district of Kreuzberg became home to the Werkstatt für Photographie, which looked to America for inspiration and, from 1976 to 1986, saw renowned photographers and amateurs create a dialogue in an environment that encouraged experimentation, and went on to influence many practitioners.
The running theme in Hiorns’s work is the malleability and instability of objects and materials, from his interiors filled with copper sulphate crystals to machines which pulverise themselves, to paintings made from brain matter in reference to the disease vCJD. Alongside the retrospective of his work running at Ikon, Hiorns has already created a performance at St Philip’s Cathedral, and now plans to bury an aeroplane in the city in summer 2017.
Kreuzberg – Amerika
C/O Berlin, 10 December - 12 February www.co-berlin.org
Ikon, Birmingham 7 December - 5 March www.ikon-gallery.org
Jeu De Paume, Paris Until 15 January www.jeudepaume.org
Basim Magdy’s films often take a surreal approach to the gap between desires and delusions, capturing the moment when the failure of a utopian ideal becomes apparent. His latest work No Shooting Stars considers a territory with no founding mythos, namely the vast space of the oceans. Water is the environment where life originated. Yet from the viewpoint of land-based civilisations, oceanic territory remains a marginal, stateless zone.
6. Cy Twombly, Winter’s Passage Luxor (Porto Ercole), 1985. Wood, nails, paint, coloured pencil on paper. © Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich. 7. John Akomfrah, Mnemosyne, 2010. Courtesy of the artist and Smoking Dogs Films, London. 8. Bruce Nauman, Corridor with Mirror and White Lights, 1971. © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2016. Photo: Norbert Miguletz. 9. © Eugenia Martinez. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery. 10. Jimmie Durham, Upon reflection, I was no longer sure of my position, 2009. Obsidian, German silver, steel table, obsidian mirror with coloured tin frame. Image courtesy of kurimanzutto, Mexico City.
Centre Pompidou, Paris Until 24 April www.centrepompidou.fr
Organised around three major cycles – Nine Discourses on Commodus (1963), Fifty Days at Iliam (1978) and Coronation of Sesostris (2000) – this vast retrospective covers the American artist’s entire career in a chronological sequence including 140 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs, providing a clear picture of an extraordinarily rich body of work which is both intellectual and sensual.
Artes Mundi 7
National Museum, Cardiff Until 26 February www.artesmundi.org
The shortlist for this year’s Artes Mundi exhibition and prize has been announced, including John Akomfrah, Bedwyr Williams, Neil Beloufa, Amy Franceschini, Lamia Joreige and Nástio Mosquito, a list selected from over 700 nominations submitted from 90 countries. Tackling present day issues such as migration, technology, feminism, capitalism and global politics, the winner will be announced on 25 January.
Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt Until 22 January www.schirn.de
Subtitled An Unexpected Encounter, the event brings two sculptors from very different generations into juxtaposition, and reveals the unexpected common ground between them. Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966) is one of the most important classical modern European sculptors, whilst Bruce Nauman (b. 1941) took a radical approach that was liberated from traditional concepts.
Michael Hoppen Gallery, London 3 - 23 December michaelhoppengallery.com
The Christmas show at Michael Hoppen features Mexican artist Eugenia Martinez, whose concern is the differences in public discourse between cultural groups and the true thoughts of the people depicted. She uses historic Mexican portraits and obsessively repeated texts – meticulously writing quotes from politicians and public figures alongside slang words and song lyrics.
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles 29 January - 7 May www.hammer.ucla.edu
American artist, performer, poet, essayist, and activist Durham remains one of the most compelling and multifaceted artists working today, since emerging as part of the downtown New York scene in the 1980s. Yet despite his advocacy for minorities over much of his life, Durham is an elusive figure in his home country, having lived and worked primarily and quietly in Mexico and Europe.
Changing Philosophies Design: The Whole Story THAMES & HUDSON’S ENCYCLOPAEDIC VOLUME SURVEYS THE INNOVATIONS OF INSPIRED PRACTITIONERS FROM THE 19th CENTURY UP UNTIL THE PRESENT DAY.
The ideas of Morris’s pioneering group spread from Britain In 1880 English textile designer William Morris famously declared to his Birmingham audience: “Have nothing in to America, and all the way to Japan, and although their your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe influence can still be seen today, growth ended because to be beautiful.” Behind this statement was Morris’s passion the ideal was ultimately flawed. As Wilhide explains, the Arts for true craft and his hope to persuade the masses that their and Crafts Movement was inspired by a desire to provide the masses with a decorative sense of living and create greater homes should be filled only with objects of “real art.” He proceeded to lead the Arts and Crafts Movement, equality through “art for all.” However, as the author explains: promoting honest, handmade work and the ideal of rural “The truth of the matter was that a lot of people couldn’t simplicity, drawing on the creative and stripped-back afford the things that were produced.” It was a socialist ideal processes of the past. At the heart of his vision was a rejection that, in execution, could only serve the elite. To truly address of Victorian clutter – cheap, inferior goods produced in the needs of the population, mass production has prevailed. Still, one key principle was the relationship between quality poor conditions by severely underpaid workers – and the conservation of traditional skills, which Morris and his of design and of life – a truth that today everyone takes for followers feared would be phased out by mass production. granted. Thames & Hudson’s text initiates conversations Socially and environmentally concerned, he sought to between past and present ideals – how our domestic prevent industrialisation whilst restoring self-respect to world should be constructed. A key example noted is the employees by improving working conditions. This aspiration juxtaposition between Morris’s definition of quality and how – borne in the late 19th century – would attempt to revive we understand it now: for the 19th century visionary, the the collaboration of art and design: manufacture would be notion was more closely related to materiality and beauty. something beautiful and meaningful for everyone, achieved But, the landscape of design did grow to value practicality, by using local materials whilst striving for originality. especially with the demands of developing populations. As co-author of Thames & Hudson’s new weighty tome, Before describing this step into functionality and Elizabeth Wilhide, explains: “The impetus behind the move- adaptability, Wilhide charts the shifts made in the late 19th ment is evident today: Morris was against the separation of century: by then the previously established school of thought human beings from hand-work in factory processes and the had moved on with the entrance of Aestheticism. This period same kind of thing is happening now. There is a new hunger of decadence drew on the motifs of Morris but rejected his for making things physically – in response to the growth in moral principles in favour of boundless ostentation. With technology – as we are inherently a creative species yet con- the new ideas based in Britain, the 1862 International temporary designers seem alienated from their work.” Exhibition had introduced Chinese and Japanese porcelain
Stuart Haygarth, Millennium, 2005.
“In this new post-war climate, homewares began to resemble the technology of factories, formed from industrial materials such as tubular steel used in bicycles, that would not disrupt the architecture of open plan, multipurpose spaces.”
Previous Page: Giò Ponti, Suspension Lamp, 1931. Transparent tempered glass discs, tubular sandblasted glass diffuser, chrome-plated brass frame. Diameter 50 cm. Left: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Hill House Ladder Back Chair, 1903. Ebonized ashwood, seagrass fabric, horsehair. 141 cm.
and ceramics, ivory carvings and cotton tapestries to the elite of London. The 1878 Third World’s Fair in Paris featured an ornate Japanese pavilion and extravagant fashion: Japanese gowns and rich velvet jackets were on sale in London’s Liberty store, worn by renowned dandies such as writer Oscar Wilde. According to this new book, Aestheticism died in 1900 with Wilde, who lived a life in search of beauty. His controversial play Salome was banned from the stage due to its lavish visuals and themes of lust and violence. Wilde famously quoted, in the preface of his philosophical novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890): “all art is quite useless”, a sentence which encapsulates the entire principle of the Aesthetic Movement. Paintings, novels, music and any other mediums have no responsibility, and as such, they should not be expected to influence the social or moral identities of society. For the provocative author, creative output was to be only an act of pleasure, be it the process of making or the enjoyment of its merits. Life should be led to maximise one’s own enjoyment. Yet, Wilde ultimately criticises the decadent mode of living through the tale of the ultimate hedonist – the handsome young Dorian – whose lifestyle of vanity, and corruption leads him to despair. Although a seeming advocate of materialistic design, the narrative critiques the obedience to one’s desires and reflects the fallacy of Aestheticism. More and more practitioners would come to reject this state of desirability, seeking something more. Delving further into the text, one witnesses the global embrace of Art Nouveau, coupling rich, imaginative style with new technologies and materials. Lithography prints, ceramics painted with translucent enamels and coloured glass made an entrance into styles of construction. By 1914 the Arts and
Crafts Movement, Aestheticism and Art Nouveau were forced to an abrupt halt as World War I initiated dramatic change. From weaponry to metal homewares and bicycles, the efficient “US system of manufacture” or divided labour had sped up production by the early 1900s, catalysed in 1913 with Henry Ford Motors’ adoption of the moving assembly line. By the beginning of the war a machine age had begun. With the rise of rationing and less-hedonistic sensibilities, the ideas of Cubism, Vorticism and Futurism began to mimick the angular lines and driving speed of mechanised labour, and the home increasingly came to reflect this rational, productive outlook – spurred on in the 1920s by thinkers such as architect Le Corbusier, whose Toward an Architecture (1923) told readers: “The house is a machine for living in.” In this new post-war climate, homewares began to resemble the technology of factories, formed from industrial materials, such as the tubular steel used in bicycles, that would not disrupt the architecture of open plan, multi-purpose spaces. Modernist furniture both encapsulated the mechanic aesthetic and satisfied the need for affordable modern goods. Whilst devised for functionality, the style of elegant simplicity has been one of our most enduring: not only has it reigned from the 1920s to 1970s, but original works of Modernist furniture are highly sought after today: Vitra furniture, Smeg fridges and Roberts radios remain, undeniably, in fashion. Wilhide describes the push for vintage as reflecting “a nostalgia. You’re buying something that harks back to your grandmother’s kitchen or an old film. Perhaps it is also a reaction against overwhelming choice. You’re selecting something that’s already been selected.” In a way, this is an acceptance that individuality is near
Nils ‘Nisse’ Strinning, String Shelving System, 1949. Oak plastic-coated wire, stainless steel. Flexible dimensions.
impossible for today’s consumer, with mass production having taken over in the mid-20th century and provided a glut of products, as the co-author asserts: “It’s difficult to be individual, especially when the marketplace is so globalised.” Where the Aesthetes of the early 20th century garnered their own exclusive and eccentric tastes through new access to blueprints from Japan and China, today much of the Western world has unprecedented access to international design. Towards the end of the book it becomes obvious that an unprecedented aspect of the evolving medium is innovation. One of the most significant recent advancements is 3D printing. Whilst plastics entered the everyday interiors of 1916 Rolls-Royce cars, glazed the canopies of Spitfire planes and formed Charles and Ray Eames’ sleek shell chair in 1949, they can now be manipulated in an entirely new way. The process was first explored in 1983 by Chuck Hull, who was looking for a way to produce fast prototypes, for aeroplane and car parts. Today, objects with intricate internal structures can be printed in their entirety, using CAD drawing and materials ranging from plastic and glass to aluminium and steel and even silver, gold and platinum. Though this has given designers the ability to create stunning works – such as Swedish group Front’s Materialized Sketch Chair (2006), which transforms scribbles into solid resin and ceramic – it has also given way to practical scientific equipment, and more sinister items such as the Liberator (2013) – a 3D-printed gun. Fortunately, the Liberator didn’t work very well, and the most significant advancements have been in medical equipment and even replacement limbs and bones. For example, in 2014 the 3D-printed vertebra was mastered by Liu Zhongjun at Beijing University Third Hospital, initially to replace the
second vertebra in the neck of Minghao, a 12-year-old boy Tord Boontje, Garland, 2002/2004. Designed for Habitat 2002 and who had a malignant tumour. The second vertebra, or axis, Artecnica 2004. is especially complex as the head pivots on this part of the spine, and whilst this vertebra would once have been replaced with a hollow tube, and the patient’s head held static with pins and a frame for three months, a 3D-printed vertebra can be made to a bespoke fit and is structurally stronger than the tube. Minghao’s recovery was fairly fast, his natural bone grew over the 3D implant, and he regained an almost full range of movement. This has led to new research into disc replacement and replacement of other complex bones. Not only precise, 3D printing is efficient, provides very little waste and can even transform freely available recyclable plastics such as empty water bottles into useful objects including umbilical cord clips. This particular item was imagined and executed by iLab Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, where medical supplies were so limited that newborns’ umbilical cords were being tied with rubber gloves, so that nurses had to work bare-handed to deliver babies to HIVpositive women. As Wilhilde explains, “3D printing effectively cuts out distribution and transportation costs”, and it is therefore a useful tool for both developing and developed countries – with its easy manipulation of recycled materials leading towards sustainable fashion pieces as well. Words We now understand how the quality of design and the Chloe Hodge fulfilment our day-to-day lives refer to safety, education and comfort rather than simply aesthetics, and although the market may now be so globalised that individuality Design: The Whole Story. can prove difficult, the ability to share innovation across Thames & Hudson. countries, cultures and even practices means that the next 200 years look to be as nuanced and ingenious as the past. www.thamesandhudson.com
Estranged Landscapes Lauren Marsolier
French artist Lauren Marsolier (b. 1972) – now based in Los Angeles – has developed a style that alleviates the world of specific details. Perceptual compositions alienate viewers through bright and equivocal landscapes, which are haunted by unidentifiable sources of lighting. Through this style of post-production and tonal minimalism, the featured locations are rendered simultaneously familiar and anonymous. Transition – Part 3, for example, is an ode to fictional spaces. Unending horizons and flat blocks of colour evoke a limbo-like state: the audience cannot recognise a particular place. Devoid of noticeable characteristics and with empty skylines, the artist’s portfolio questions the role of our surroundings within the psyche. She has exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Phoenix Art Museum, and in 2013 was featured alongside Mitch Epstein, Robert Adams and Edward Burtynsky, amongst others, at Somerset House, London. www.laurenmarsolier.com.
Lauren Marsolier, Plaza. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Galerie Richard.
Lauren Marsolier, Buildings And Pines. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Galerie Richard.
Lauren Marsolier, Building And Tree. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Galerie Richard.
Lauren Marsolier, Landscape With White Fence And Lawn. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Galerie Richard.
Lauren Marsolier, Street View. Diptych. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Galerie Richard.
Lauren Marsolier, Building And Tree 2. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Galerie Richard.
Lauren Marsolier, Landscape With Chair. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Galerie Richard.
Lauren Marsolier, House 2. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Galerie Richard.
Cultural Observation Romina Ressia
Romina Ressia (b. 1981) was born in Argentina, where, after studying Economics until the age of 28, she decided to dedicate her life to the arts. Her work is an analysis of contemporary society – charting how it has evolved through historical reference. Classical influences can be seen across the entirety of the artist’s oeuvre as a method of decoding modernity: the styling of fine art portraiture comments on the dialogues made between past and present. Both the lighting and the positioning of models call upon 18th century and 19th century painting, whilst compositions descend into bathos through the use of 20th century props: bubble gum, popcorn and cans of Coca-Cola. Ressia’s work has been exhibited internationally – notable galleries include Leica Gallery, Milan, Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh and The Louvre Museum, Paris – and has been showcased at numerous art fairs which include Photo Shanghai, Start London and Scope Basel. www.rominaressiaph.com.
Romina Ressia, Ice Cream.
Romina Ressia, Pop-Corn.
Romina Ressia, Coke.
Romina Ressia, Woman Playing Tennis.
Romina Ressia, Double Bubble Gum.
Romina Ressia, Birthday Cake.
Romina Ressia, Girl Wearing a Helmet.
Romina Ressia, Red Balloon.
Romina Ressia, Water Pistol.
Figurative Illumination Iván Navarro THE CHILEAN ARTIST OPENS A NEW EXHIBITION IN NEW YORK IN WHICH LAYERS OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DEPTH ARE IDENTIFIED THROUGH SCULPTED SILENCE.
The artist, composer, theorist and poet John Cage (1912 - which violence and oppression may become inscribed into 1992) wrote of silence that “there is no such thing as an empty cultures, and can permeate our relationship with form. One of the most striking elements of Mute Parade is Impenspace or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, etrable Room (2016) in which the artist explores the shape we cannot.” This idea reverberates around Chilean artist Iván and form of “road cases”, used to safely transport musical Navarro’s new exhibition Mute Parade at Paul Kasmin Gallery instruments for touring orchestras and bands. These boxes, in New York. Adapting a vocabulary that has become familiar which are custom-fitted to the shape of the instruments, are through his work with fluorescent light and mirrors, the artist designed to provide ultimate protection and cushioning in has created a series of rooms and sculptures which link the transit. Navarro has installed these shapes with fluorescent themes of space, silence, illumination and question what it lights and mirrors to create the illusion of infinitely receding means to be “instrumental” in something, or what it means space. The works evoke silence – the shapes of the objects to “orchestrate.” Navarro says: “There are no actual sounds retain the sense of stillness and protection – whilst also powin the exhibition. It’s about the idea that certain objects and erfully resonating as symbols and giving the possibility of certain spaces create sounds in the mind of the viewer. For narrative through repetition and variation. The viewer might example, there is an object that looks like a drum, but it read the undulating green neon light in the piece as a visual metaphor of sound waves, or as waves of actual light. The doesn’t function as one. Instead of noise we get light.” It perhaps comes as no surprise that wordplay around patterns also seem to draw on psychedelic art of the sort that “instrument” and “orchestration” suffuses the work on rock bands of a certain era would use as cover iconography. display. Navarro, who was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1972, This ambiguity is built into the forms of the installation, as and grew up during the regime of General Pinochet, knows the artist comments: “These cases look impossible to open, all too well how silencing and oppression can be achieved they look very locked and sealed, but with the mirror I have through loudness, and is perhaps best placed to explore this created the illusion that there is an endless space inside.” In Impenetrable Room, the cases are arranged like a labyrinth phenomenon beyond the known context. He has become recognised for installations that subtly illuminate, glow and in the space and the viewer has to negotiate areas that can reveal the socio-political resonances of familiar forms. With at times look closed off or endlessly open, depending on his piece 2006’s Red and Blue Electric Chair, he subverted the the angle they are approached from. This concern with how familiar Modernist form of Rietveld’s chair by constructing things are read within a space and the exploration of the one out of fluorescent lights in a way that balanced the visual with the aural is central to the exhibition. Here, black fragile, the frightening and the lethal to suggest ways in and white squares of paper are placed on the floor with
Iván Navarro, KICKBACKICKBACKICKBACK, 2016. Installation view. Neon, drum, one-way mirror, mirror and electric energy. 72 x 72 x 32 in. Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery. Photo: Diego Flores.
“Navarro’s language seems to blend and combine the traditions of sound and visual poetry with the looping, sampling and mixing processes of contemporary music, folding the two forms in on one another. ”
Previous Page: Iván Navarro, To Reach, 2012. LED lights, plywood, one-way mirror, mirror and electric energy. 12 x 24 in (diameter). Edition of 3 (from an edition of 3 + 1 AP). Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery. Photo: Thelma Garcia. Left: Iván Navarro, Totem, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery. Photo: Thelma Garcia.
the words “Loud Unclear” and “Read You” written on them. has done much to champion and provide a sounding board These phrases, which might seem hermetic or ambiguous, for Chilean recording artists internationally. This interest subvert the processes associated with reading and hearing. feeds into his art, which often uses text that has the tone They resist interpretation and confuse if meaning is to be and memorability of the best lyrics. From Beginning to End understood as something immediate. These pieces of paper, (2014), for example, seems familiar from the language of which might look like discarded flyers after a rally or gig, are overheard music. Given Navarro’s treatment, the words “from illuminated by the installations and interact with the visual beginning to end” seem to fluctuate and reverberate, losing forms of the surrounding exhibition. The texts themselves their definition. They become stripped of their context as the are reminiscent of Cage’s own dictum that “I have nothing to illusionistic use of mirrors creates a sense of an endlessly receding infinite space, a space without beginning or end. say and I am saying it and that is poetry as I need it.” There are works on view at Paul Kasmin that make use of Their visual quality in light becomes fuzzy and instead they circular text that bends around shapes that look like drums create a sense of an illusionary space that relies on the coor speakers, endlessly looping the phrases “KICKBACK” and dependence of the two book-end words for its construction. “KNOCKKNOCKKNOCK.” These pieces of text are chosen not This work also reflects the way that both light and sound are only because of the suggestion of sound as a metaphor that instrumental in maintaining structures of power, persuasion underpins linguistic experience, from childhood stories to and control in art and culture. Tuning (2015) explores “the metaphor of finding a balcolloquial utterance, but also for the noise they themselves make in the palate – filled with the hard consonantal clatter ance in making a piece of work.” It consists of six towering of all those percussive “k”s. They are frustrated, unworkable drums against a wall, which are arranged in a pyramid form. palindromes and tongue-twisters in which the concrete Inserted using mirrors are the words “HIGH”, “TONE”, “TUNE”, nature of the words is instrumental in their semantic “BASS”, “MUTE” and “DEAF.” This piece conveys the idea of interpretation. Navarro’s language seems to blend and the drums being played without them making a noise. The combine the traditions of sound and visual poetry with the title connects to a text of the same name by the late conceplooping, sampling and mixing processes of contemporary tual poet David Antin, Tuning (1984), in which he critiques music, folding the two forms in on one another. Whether or how we “come to understand things” through a process he not we hear these words in synaesthesia as we read them, describes as tuning an instrument. Investigating the spaces Navarro suggests their sound through the form of drums and that writing inhabits across the page – and those which it leaves blank – the poet draws parallels to the works at Paul in the way light bounces and echoes in the space. The installations interrogate the ways in which language Kasmin: affecting certain senses whilst leaving others alone. Navarro is interested in these questions of how meaning and music combine, not just figuratively, but literally, in song lyrics. Navarro has his own record label, Hueso Records, and comes about and how semantics happen through language,
Iván Navarro, Empire State, 2011. Neon, wood, paint, Plexiglass, mirror, one-way mirror and electric energy. 57 x 119 x 10 in. Edition of 3 + 1 AP. Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery. Photo: Thelma Garcia.
not in a direct A – B conduit but rather through a more poetic Reach (2012), Navarro draws on the possibilities of the title understanding of the subtle interactions which take place phrase, allowing the viewer to add “to the stars”, “infinity”, or between word, medium and context. As he comments: “All any other wording, when confronted with a circular frame the drums have a text, so it is almost as though they are and the sort of illuminated mirror associated with Hollywood playing a specific song with its own lyrics. The combination dressing rooms. There are rare occasions, when the absurd of lyrics creates the narrative of the show. But it is all super asserts itself through a frisson of frustration between object poetic, it is all about the viewer creating different connections and text. More often, there is a stillness in the artist’s wordplay, a resistance to bombast and to singular interpretation. and interactions in the show between sound and space.” One way of reading Mute Parade is that instruments are Conduit #1 (2015) uses neon, steel, mirrors, one-way mirrors and electrical energy; the form of a ladder seems to part of military occasions and noise is used in military propaextend both downwards through a mirror and faintly echoes ganda, thus the use of martial music and orchestration is one around the circular form of the mirror too, opening up the way of asserting and maintaining power and control. Howsense of communication as something more complex and ever, it is evident that the collection’s social and ecological many-sided than a conduit model. A similar form is used in depth goes beyond this. At another level the piece echoes Impenetrable (Whisper) (2012) in which the word “whisper” in across the space as a re-contextualised object: the translacapital letters emerges loudly from a tunnel, doubling itself tion of sonorous waves into light is just as important to Navin the mirror like an echo. There is something unsettling arro. “One thing that interests me is the way instruments are about the spaces that are constructed through light – used in military paraphernalia, but this is only one level of Navarro plays with the forms of emergency exit, tunnels and the art and it is also very important to experience the space.” pipes. His use of neon lights also suggests a slightly unreal, Silence is, within this exhibition, an instrument in its own right. There is something powerful and beautiful in this notion, noir atmosphere. The idea of an echoing, shouted whisper is itself the sort of paradox that the works on display represent. perhaps because it suggests both potential and possibility. On his reasons for rendering words in neon, the artist There is also something empowering and liberating to comments that “the font, the context of language, is always be found in the wordplay and multiplicity of semantic fundamental to the meaning those words have. I often play interpretations that Navarro writes into his oeuvre. This is the with words, and this can create a sense of frustration for the kind of possibility that John Cage implied when he wrote viewer in relation to the work.” Sometimes this annoyance “the world is teeming; anything can happen.” The artist pays is absurdist in nature, such as in POST NO BILLS (2016) in attention to what it might mean to be instrumental and what which a cherry wood box, fluorescent light and mirrors are it means to resist orchestration. This possibility is always a used to create the illusion of an infinite loop of negation, political one, whether or not it immediately connects with referring to public posters and dreaded financial bills. In To any specific historical or social contexts.
Right: Iván Navarro, Tuning, 2015. Installation view. LED lights, drums, mirrors, one-way mirrors and electric energy. 102 x 111 ½ x 23 in. Edition of 3 + 1 AP. Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery. Photo: Diego Flores.
Words Colin Herd
Iván Navarro: Mute Parade. Until 23 December. Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York. www.paulkasmingallery.com
Interior Aspirations Cristina Coral
Cristina Coral lives and works in Italy, having been surrounded and influenced by an artistic family. She holds interests in many other forms of creative expression, but her self-taught photographic skills have come to the forefront as an inexhaustible form of language. The notion of the abnormal everyday is at the heart of the compositions, which present a style that has won awards including the Uncanny Contest, run by Gregory Crewsdon and Vogue Italia. Each image invites the viewer into an unnerving arena where neutralised colour schemes are the setting for characters which are just out of reach. With faces hidden, turned longingly towards some sort of escape, the domesticated figures are held within immaculate purgatories. Coral’s work has been featured in Vogue.it, Lens Culture, Musée Magazine, and L’oéil amongst many others. She has exhibited at Somerset House, London, Galleria Carla Sozzani and Leica Gallery, Milan. www.cristinacoral.it.
Cristina Coral, Inside / Outside, 2015.
Cristina Coral, Room Stories, 2014.
Cristina Coral, Room Stories, 2014.
Cristina Coral, Room Stories, 2014.
Cristina Coral, Room Stories, 2014.
Cristina Coral, Inside / Outside, 2015.
Sculpted Expressions Viktor&Rolf THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA, MELBOURNE, EXPLORES THE DESIGNERS’ NOTION OF WEARABLE ART THROUGH A SELECTION OF THEIR MOST ICONIC WORKS.
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, the minds behind all of the garments, either within a textile pattern or as a the avant-garde luxury brand Viktor&Rolf, are first and three-dimensional part of the creation, in a light-hearted yet foremost fashion artists. Their approach may have led to poignant rejection of the industry and its demands. More recently, their Spring / Summer 2014 work Red collaborations with major high street retail chains, but their work remains primarily driven by their desire to “use fashion Carpet Dressing playfully – and with a heavy dose of irony as a means of creative expression,” and utilise its “possibilities – literalised the concept of designers asking celebrities to promote their brands on the red carpet at public and media and impossibilities in order to create the unexpectable.” The duo have enjoyed an illustrious career of achieving events: a heavy-duty nylon carpet was the sole material that just that, ever since they first met as students at the Arnhem was used in the creations. “Sometimes,” Horsting and Snoeren Academy of Art and Design in the Netherlands and began confess, “we feel as if our work is like therapy!” There is no working together upon their graduation, soon relocating to doubt that they inject a large amount of their own personal Paris. Their events have never failed to amaze and delight, experience into their work, with the collections that they fuelled not only by the staggering creativity that characterises create becoming, at times, almost works of autobiography. the works but also by the cutting edge and often sardonic As the design duo put it, their work “always comes from our approach that they take to the business of the industry in and emotions and from our position in the fashion world.” The cheeky literal-mindedness of Red Carpet Dressing is of itself. Their now iconic show Russian Doll (1999) exploded the concept of a traditional runway presentation by piling 70 one the pair have largely imbued into their personal concept kilograms of garments, layer by layer, on a single stationary of wearable art, a notion that is becoming progressively model. The weight of expectation both reflected and turned more literal and, perhaps for this very reason, more surreal inside out the anticipation that is associated with a Russian with every offering: they have, in turn, offered pieces in which doll, a toy which one progressively takes apart in order to aesthetic components come to life: gowns created out of still-framed canvasses, and garments shaped as sculptures reveal its core. Layers of active participation are vital. “In our minds”, the couple state, “fashion and art are not which completely engulf their wearer. In the words of the separate entities. We have always worked with the medium late Richard Martin, curator of the Costume Institute at the as a tool, as a means of expression.” In the past, there have Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Viktor&Rolf’s presentation been times when their pieces have almost felt like an outlet mingles statue and runway, letting us see both the living for the particular kind of frustration created by the pressures statue of a fine-arts identity and the animation of a couture.” The Spring / Summer 2015 Haute Couture line Van that the industry puts on creativity: their Fall 2008 readyto-wear collection entitled NO, incorporated the word into Gogh Girls saw infamous paintings of the rural countryside
Viktor&Rolf, Van Gogh Girls haute couture collection, Spring/Summer 2015. Photo: © Team Peter Stigter.
“The duo feel that what sets them apart from their peers is their uncompromising artistic integrity: ‘we always stay true to ourselves and our creative core,’ they stress, adding ‘we develop and produce the collection entirely in our own atelier.’”
Previous Page: Viktor&Rolf, Shalom ready-to-wear collection, Spring/Summer 2009. Published in Glamcult, December 2010. © Barrie Hullegie. Left: Viktor&Rolf, Performance of Sculptures haute couture collection, Autumn/Winter 2015-16. Photo: © Team Peter Stigter.
materialise as oversized, almost fantastical creations, featuring enormous straw hats shaped into hay bales and striking, sculptured flowers emerging, three-dimensional, from floral patterns. Wearable Art, (Autumn / Winter 20152016) included picture frames shaped into dresses and textiles printed with images of Renaissance paintings. As with Russian Doll, the team made an appearance in the show, only this time it was to help some of the models remove the “painting” gown – revealing a smock under-layer. The duo then proceeded to hang the paintings on the back wall of the stage, and by doing so completing the artwork – gown – artwork circle, which also serves to underscore the doubling of the fashion show runway as an artistic exhibition space. Performance of Sculptures (Spring / Summer 2016) comprised works in which the boundaries between wearer and clothing all but dissolved: the models were frequently hidden underneath the monumental, oversized pieces, and the overall impression left was one of both a “sculpture that had been humanised and a model that had been sculpted.” The dynamism of art, be it visual or constructive, is tapped into for each creation: the voluminous gowns and extravagant accessories presented here all display exactly the kind of inviting, tactile three-dimensionality that one usually expects to encounter in an art gallery. Notably, Victor&Rolf creations have been inspired and worn by iconic female performers including Björk and Tilda Swinton, both known not only for their talent but also the fiercely independent way in which they pursue their artistic paths. The former, in particular, is a performer whose unequivocal status as a style icon forms an inextricable part of her identity, as asserted by the care and attention she
devotes to constructing her unique appearance – including hair, make-up and, of course, clothing – for videos, photo shoots and live performances. It could be said that Björk’s creative brand hinges, in a lot of ways, on a professional image of the performer as a living aesthetic entity – a similar blurring between the individual and multi-media to that which underlies Viktor&Rolf’s Performance of Sculptures. It is perfectly fitting, then, that in Fashion Artists, a show curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, the innovative duo are presenting a selection of their work which epitomises their notion of imaginative expression as a wearable element: “iconic, striking, and sculptural were key words,” they explain. This exhibition is an exciting opportunity to bring their work to the Southern hemisphere and, by highlighting specific examples of their work, to share the ways in which for them “Haute Couture has always been a laboratory of artistic expression.” The creation of wearable art places Viktor&Rolf in a continuum of practitioners who have strived to achieve similar effects in their work: from established names in the industry, such as Iris van Herpen, the pioneer of craftsmanship and innovation, to the generation of up-and-coming designers whose ventures in the field are being showcased by the Wearable Art Awards (WOW) in Wellington, New Zealand. Horsting and Snoeren feel that what sets them apart from their peers is their uncompromising artistic integrity: “we always stay true to ourselves and our creative core,” they stress, adding “we develop and produce the collection entirely in our own atelier,” a process which ensures that conception and production are in complete synergy. This, for them, is the most rewarding aspect of creating couture.
Viktor&Rolf, Van Gogh Girls haute couture collection, Spring/Summer 2015. © Philip Riches. Right:
NGV also hosts a selection of work-in-progress Dolls – and making something new and beautiful out of it.” This Viktor&Rolf, Blacklight haute couture collection, Spring/Summer 1999. replicas of antique dolls dressed in the team’s most iconic almost ceremonial shedding of the past seemed to have a Published in Visionaire, 2001. looks. Each season, Horsting and Snoeren explain, they freeing effect, by the very act of feeding the past into a work © Inez and Vinoodh. create an Haute Couture mannequin which represents that of the present – in essence, this “turning to memory” has season’s line, thus gradually building up a retrospective meant that the duo could now “move towards the future.” Alongside the main exhibition, the NGV Melbourne host a collection summarising all their works up until the present. Is it a case of demonstrating a continuation between old separate one for children: Atelier: Viktor&Rolf for Kids, aiming and new, highlighting the differences between the two, or to “encourage them to explore their creativity through bridging the gap between past and present? Probably a bit interactive multimedia activities, including a particular focus of all three. The duo themselves consider that creating the on the olfactory experience.” The event is hosted in an dolls “takes the temporal aspect away from the collection immersive atelier, where the younger visitors will be invited to create their own accessories as inspired by the pieces – and makes them almost eternal, or at least timeless.” Simultaneously, the pair admit that “the contradiction such as bows, collars and elaborate ruffles. The end-to-end of fashion clothes on a historic toy” creates an “unsettling” fashion experience is completed by taking part in a selfatmosphere, one that is aided by the further juxtaposition of staged photo shoot against one of three black and white big and small, which renders the regular-size mannequins backdrops: a “harlequin-themed” space, a room reflecting even stranger. There appears to be an almost self-conscious “the designers’ fascination with flowers,” or a fairytale forest. For Horsting and Snoeren, the challenge of creating a theatricality at work in the antique oeuvre, a purposeful special children’s wing for the exhibition presented a great setting up and bridging of a gap of creative dissonance. This is not the only self-referential use of materials that the challenge that they were very excited to take on, for personal couple have engaged in. Vagabonds, (Autumn / Winter 2016) reasons and their own memories of the creative potential and was created by recycling garments from previous seasons, in receptiveness to ideas that is inherent in young minds. “We a process that they dub “conscious designing.” From the old remember that when we were young, fashion made such an Words comes the new: past fabrics and mementos are pulled apart impression on us, so we hope that we can give the same back.” Regina Papachlimitzou The show is complemented by two publications: a richly only to be put together again, into novel creations – a kind of tongue-in-cheek retrospective at the heart of the new work. illustrated catalogue featuring photography by Dave Any artistic endeavour, be it painting, music, literature, and so LaChapelle, Cindy Sherman, Annie Leibovitz and Andreas Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists. on, involves a plundering of sorts into the practitioner’s past, Gursky, alongside an interview with the designers and other Until 26 February. material illuminating their work; and a kids’ activity drawing NGV Melbourne. a weaving of poignant and personal memory into the work. “For us,” Horsting and Snoeren acknowledge, “Vagabond book inspired by the event, leading young readers through was a very liberating experience. Destroying old creations the exuberant works and inviting them to create their own. www.ngv.vic.gov.au
Auroral Metropolis Patrick Joust
Californian-born Patrick Joust (b. 1978) has lived in Baltimore, Maryland, since 2006 where he currently works as a reference librarian. Inspired by the city, he picked up a camera in 2009 and began capturing the surrounding nocturnal landscapes. Finding intrigue within the strange intersections of the metropolis, Joust uses the lens as a witness to the shifting sense of culture â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both from day to night and from the historical to the present. Featured within the following pages are snapshots of various locations across America, illuminations of life through the mist and sweeping darkness of a sleeping world. Alterations in colour temperature provide a kaleidoscopic vision of Pennsylvania, Maine, California and Maryland, saturated glows emanating from rose curtains, yellow Christmas lights and blue-tinted street lamps. The artist depicts suburbia with a soft and misted palette, where a spectrum of fluorescence blends together in the night sky. www.patrickjoust.com.
Patrick Joust, Baltimore, 2015.
Patrick Joust, Mount Desert Island, Maine, 2013.
Patrick Joust, Essex, Maryland, 2011.
Patrick Joust, McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, 2011.
Patrick Joust, Colonia, Uruguay, 2011.
Patrick Joust, Baltimore, 2012.
Patrick Joust, Baltimore, 2012.
Patrick Joust, Baltimore, 2013.
Patrick Joust, Catonsville, Maryland, 2014.
Patrick Joust, Seaside, California, 2013.
Patrick Joust, Pacifica, California, 2014.
Adaptive Environments Giorgio Stefanoni
Giorgio Stefanoni (b. 1987) is an art director and digital designer based in Milan who graduated from the Politecnico di Milano in Architecture, specialising in Visual Design at Scuola del Castello. The bold and colourful series Unknown Geometries â&#x20AC;&#x2030;provides intriguing angles on metropolitan architecture, focusing on urban details that have become symbols of the everyday. Cast against gradients of cloudless blue sky, the textural details are magnified and the anonymity of globalised structures is accentuated. Windows and staircases become structures of a nameless world and, through pop-coloured vignettes, Stefanoni provides a fresh perspective on technological growth. Meanwhile, striking pink concrete is matched by an equally bright sky. Through marrying such bright colours the artist comments on where digital enhancement and natural elements become indivisible â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the organic and the man made are no longer separate. www.giorgiostefanoni.com.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Lights Off, 2015.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Heaven, 2015.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Gluck, 2015.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Still, 2016.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Density, 2015.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Balance, 2015.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Snake, 2015.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Beans, 2015.
Giorgio Stefanoni, Full and Empty, 2015.
Visceral Construction Lisbon Architecture Triennale PORTUGAL PLAYS HOST TO A GATHERING WHERE ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS REFLECT ON THE SPACES AND SYSTEMS IN WHICH WE SPEND OUR DAILY EXISTENCE.
Lisbon could well just be another biennale in the continuous loop of “iennials” worldwide: that endless cycle of timed events spaced out geographically as well as temporally. Fortunately, they have avoided becoming just that, through an inventive and engaged series of exhibitions, conferences and satellite events; this year’s edition of the Lisbon Triennale is the largest in its history. But it isn’t the size that matters; it’s the movement, the ripple-effects of these forums of exchange that counts, and at this Lisbon succeeds. This year’s theme, The Form of Form, aims to provoke debate and discussion around the ability of constructions to transform the social context within which they exist: a rich and heavy topic that is explored in a multitudinous range of ways. Diogo Seixas Lopes, one half of the curatorial duo leading this year’s edition, sadly passed away just months before the opening. His recent publication Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi (2015) presciently examined the life of Rossi through the lens of his landmark design for the Cemetery of San Cataldo in Modena. The text is fundamental not just for its focus on the cemetery – and on death – but equally for shedding light on the practitioner who reflected on the social typology of the past in order to represent emotion through building. In the context of this year’s Triennale, which focuses on form as it relates to society, we can see the clear parallels. Co-curator André Tavares says that the event “looks to the constructions that need to be reflected on, including how they are built. The Triennale is in place so that these practitioners can not only tell the world, but discuss how their work can be socially and ecologically or economically
relevant; they need to know how to consider and to preserve that knowledge. They must, in extension, discuss between themselves, and with a wider audience, how they create; otherwise conversations solely focused on architecture as a developmental practice can become lost.” Unlike the larger and more famous Venice Biennale (which took as this year’s theme Reporting from the Front) the Lisbon event focuses on curated exhibitions accompanied by a series of satellite programmes. Venice by contrast has a very strong national scope, which allows it to address many different issues, and on a much larger scale. In the words of its curator Alejandro Aravena, it encompasses: Segregation, inequalities, peripheries, access to sanitation, natural disasters, housing shortage, migration, informality, crime, traffic, waste, pollution and the participation of communities.” It is an impressive list, and one that Lisbon is not trying to compete with. Instead, Tavares and Lopes wanted to focus entirely on the theme of architectural form and the ways in which it is both transformed by and helping to change society – how modes of thought are physically embodied. This is approached through a division into four main exhibitions: The Form of Form (which is curated by Diogo Seixas Lopes); Building Site (curated by André Tavares); The World in our Eyes (curated by FIG Projects); and Sines: Seaside Logistics (curated by Marta Labastida and Rui Mendes). Speaking about the first and title show on behalf of Seixas Lopes, Tavares argues that the intended artistic legacy of the event will be “the capacity to see how human behaviour, how we think (our ideas), the way we process our knowledge can
Roche Office Building, Grenzach, Germany. Architects: Christ & Gantebein. Photo: Walter Mair.
“We wanted to tackle the act of creating, to show how design affects the organisation of the building site, the impact on labour conditions and the wider, physical realities of actually making architecture.”
Previous Page: The Form of Form. Installation shot. Photo: © Tiago Casanova. Left: Empire Riverside Hotel, Hamburg, 2002-2007. Architects: David Chipperﬁeld Architects. Photo: © Christian Richters.
become materialised through physical forms. It’s not just a reproduction of something,” said Fabrizi at the opening of about simplicity, but is a vision of form encompassing the the Triennale: the value of the original is completely negated and this encourages a new collective vision of form in design. many values, anxieties and possibilities that we possess.” From the outset, this has been the intention of the Triennale: Socks Studio is perceived to be a “visual atlas”: an online the social element of our relationship with the spaces that magazine which provides a comprehensive visual reading of surround us. The first edition, which took place in 2007, structures, designs and artworks. It is a bank of information quickly established itself as the leading Portuguese event that is succinctly packaged in brief blog-like posts: a recent dedicated to this artistic focus, with its theme – Urban Voids – visit brought up some photoengraved etchings by Argentinfocusing on the processes of decay, and physical and social ian artist Liliana Porter (Wrinkle, 1968); an unrealised design degradation in the city. Subsequent editions, including that by Adolf Loos for The Grand Hotel Babylon (1923); and the of 2010, Let’s talk about Houses, and 2013’s, Close, Closer, drawings of Bernhard Leitner’s Soundcube (1969). This bank explored sociology and culture as their main ethos. These of knowledge serves as the perfect counterpoint to the more considerations are rooted in historical ideas which date back strict lines of the pavilion which houses them. The word “vision” runs throughout the various curated to the 1400s, but also take account of a more contemporary term, as coined by British planner Maurice Broady: events, none more unusually than in Tavares’ Building “architectural determinism” (the idea that buildings shape Site. The often volatile client-architect relationships are behaviour). This edition takes a more explicit look at the exacerbated by the reality of budgets, the cost of materials language of structures: how its repository of forms engages and labour, and strict site safety guidelines which can often and creates a collective conversation. This necessarily brings extend completion dates by months if not years. These to the forefront notions of authorship, a defining element conditions are all formulated and explored in this exhibition, of the postmodern condition, and one which the studios of representing a seldom-mentioned discourse but one Johnston Marklee, Nuno Brandao Costa, and Office KGDVS that brings audiences back to the fundamental pillars of construction: the bricks and mortar as opposed to the gilded all play with in their pavilion design for the Triennale. Raiding each other’s back catalogues of work, they have decoration. Tavares comments: “We wanted to tackle the act produced a collaborative structure that challenges the idea of creating, to show how design affects the organisation of of authorship. The white plasterboard walls and steel frame the building site, the impact on labour conditions and the are cubic in form, the spaces punctured by rectangular open- wider, physical realities of actually making architecture.” Taking as his nexus the visionary Cedric Price’s McAlpine ings which shed light onto the exhibited A4 images pasted to the inner walls. The images – copies of artworks and architec- report of 1973-1975 (jokingly referred to as the McAppy ture – were taken from the archives of Mariabruna Fabrizi and report by Price), which focused on improving working condiFosco Lucarelli of Socks Studio. “Everything which is here is tions on sites, Tavares uses the document as the backdrop
Wohnwerk Workshop Building and Housing, Basel, Switzerland. Architects: Christ & Gantebein. Photo: Roman Keller. Right:
to lead to wider examples from other leading architects and the former, the focus is on the narratives and descriptions House in the City 2. designers. The report, which was commissioned by its name- which are used to engage practitioners and audiences and Architects: aNC arquitectos. sake, Alistair McAlpine, was a response to the national con- how they themselves can help to transform our fundamen- Photo: Alberto Plácido. struction workers’ strike of 1972, then the biggest walk-out tal understanding of spaces. Tavares considers that “instead that Britain had ever seen. Despite being almost comical in of having plans to transform cities, if we are able to engage some of its recommendations – “how to make cranes more with strong descriptions, then we are able to reinvent the mefun!” – the report was key in introducing systems of safety tropolis in which we live and also reinvent the way it can be and organisation, and it revolutionised the way that labour- transformed and developed in a year or in the longer-term.” The latter is a more literal reading of the logistical problems ers worked. This is epitomised in the introduction of compulsory hard helmet use; there were hard hats specifically that are faced by architects when dealing with large-scale developed to fit over a dastar (a turban-like head covering industrial infrastructures and the landscapes in which they worn by Sikhs), thereby adapting the operational processes are sited. For the Triennale, a competition was initiated, using Sines (a large harbour which is built upon a former fishing to the cultural practices of the workers involved. The show moves on from Price to look at the famed Casa village on the Iberian Peninsula) as its “problem”: more than da Música in Porto, which was designed by OMA; the building 50 submissions were received, of which 20 are presented in was a result of a hugely ambitious competition launched in the rooms of the event’s headquarters. The winning project, 1999, with a completion date of 2001. Designed to coincide A Terceira Agua, by Flora Di Martino, Rita Martins and Saule with Porto’s year as European Capital of Culture, the resulting Grybenaite, was chosen as the best proposal for the site. Architectural knowledge is gathered most simplistically concrete shell was a recycled design by OMA that was embellished through rich, extravagant interior decoration through buildings. To bring together this data and collective (a result of the subsequent luxury of time afforded by the thought and to create a more ordered discussion of it can completion of the exterior shell). The issue of time on- have a tremendous impact on an international circle of site is typically the driving force and critical factor behind designers. Tavares says that the immediate response to Words any such ambitious landmark project, and the example of this year’s edition of Lisbon has been phenomenal and Niamh Coghlan Casa da Música highlights the challenges that construction the feeling was one of general optimism: “If architects can companies continue to face and how these can be addressed. discuss and make public their practice and how they think The programme of Lisbon’s monumental event is rounded and how they generate a larger collective awareness of what Lisbon Architecture out by The World in Our Eyes, which has been curated by the the role entails, they can create better conditions in which Triennale: The Form of Form. Montreal-based team of FIG Projects (founded by Fabrizio to transform the cities.” The resulting global conversation Until 11 December. Gallanti and Francisca Insulza) and Sines: Seaside Logistics, about the spaces and systems in which we live will be a curated by Marta Labastida and Rui Mendes. In the case of lasting legacy both of the Triennale and its curators. www.trienaldelisboa.com
Obscure Perceptions Gregory Crewdson
American artist Gregory Crewdson (b. 1962) has been internationally acclaimed for his unique style – combining documentary voyeurism with a lustrous vision of contemporary life. Taking domestic settings as a focus, Crewdson is a master of conceptual narratives played out within the environs of the everyday. Cathedral of the Pines (2013-2014) is no different: evoking palpable tension in his glacial scenes, the artist transforms the rural town of Becket, Massachusetts, into a spectral land charged with undetermined human emotion. Each image is steeped with isolation and despondence – complex figures stand transfixed by their unresolved motives. A wintry landscape envelopes living rooms and outdoor sheds, perpetuating the characters’ closed mental states whilst impregnating ordinary objects with mournful lighting. As one of Aesthetica’s top picks for 2017, this series will be on display at The Photographers’ Gallery, London from 23 June. www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk.
Gregory Crewdson, Cathedral of the Pines, 2013. Detail. Digital Pigment Print. 95.3 x 127 cm / 114.5 x 146.2 cm (framed). © Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.
Gregory Crewdson, Mother and Daughter, 2014. Digital pigment print. 114.5 x 146.2 cm (framed). Ed. 1/3, plus 2 APs. ÂŠ Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.
Gregory Crewdson, Woman at Sink, 2014. Digital pigment print. 114.5 x 146.2 cm (framed). Ed. 1/3, plus 2 APs ÂŠ Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.
Gregory Crewdson, The Motel, 2014. Digital pigment print 114.5 x 146.2 cm (framed). Ed. 1/3, plus 2 APs. ÂŠ Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.
Gregory Crewdson, The Shed, 2013. Digital pigment print. 114.5 x 146.2 cm (framed). Ed. 1/3, plus 2 APs. ÂŠ Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.
Gregory Crewdson, The Den, 2013. Digital pigment print. 114.5 x 146.2 cm (framed). Ed. 1/3, plus 2 APs. ÂŠ Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.
Vanitas Remodelled Andrey-Lili
Russian born Andrey Yakovlev (b. 1962) and Lili Aleeva (b. 1979) – known as AndreyLili – are a Moscow-based photography and design duo that started working together in 1998. Having won several awards including the XVI Moscow International Festival of Advertising, the pair has gone on to produce a wealth of immaculately composed series including the featured Muse and violin, A melancholy time! So charming to the eye! and Fluff. Underpinned by advertising, fine art and fashion, their lavish shoots are a consideration of environment and theme: rich colours and textures provide spatial variance against the domestic vanitas. Mirrors, wooden furniture and drapes bring depth to each image – both symbolically and stylistically. Combined with velvet clothes, soft lighting and reflections, the images are reminiscent of Dutch Golden Age painting, resurrected as sumptuous contemporary photography. www.behance.net/andrewlili.
Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev. Art Director: Lili Aleeva. Model: Risha (ABA Models). MUAH: Pavel Natsevich. Style: Hanna Yatsko, Ruslan Shakurov. Collection: Hanna Yatsko.
Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev. Art Director: Lili Aleeva. Models: Tanya Ken (Avant Models), Masha Sher, Milena Korobeynikova (Modus Vivendis). Hair Style: Evgenia Dubchak. Style: Gala Borzova. Producer: Ksenia Tikhomirova.
Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev. Art Director: Lili Aleeva. Models: Nagornymodels. MUAH: Lili Aleeva. Collection: Alena Goretskaya.
Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev. Art Director: Lili Aleeva. Model: Risha (ABA Models). MUAH: Pavel Natsevich. Style: Hanna Yatsko, Ruslan Shakurov. Collection: Hanna Yatsko.
Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev. Art Director: Lili Aleeva. Models: Tanya Ken (Avant Models), Masha Sher, Milena Korobeynikova (Modus Vivendis). Hair Style: Evgenia Dubchak. Style: Gala Borzova. Producer: Ksenia Tikhomirova.
Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev. Art Director: Lili Aleeva. Models: Tanya Ken (Avant Models), Masha Sher, Milena Korobeynikova (Modus Vivendis). Hair Style: Evgenia Dubchak. Style: Gala Borzova. Producer: Ksenia Tikhomirova.
Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev. Art Director: Lili Aleeva. Models: Tanya Ken (Avant Models), Masha Sher, Milena Korobeynikova (Modus Vivendis). Hair Style: Evgenia Dubchak. Style: Gala Borzova. Producer: Ksenia Tikhomirova.
1. Pipilotti Rist, Gnade Donau Gnade (Mercy Danube Mecrcy), 2013/2015. Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine. Photo: Lisa Rastl. 2. Idris Khan, Stamps, 2016. 3. Left-Behind Situation, 1972/2012. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo. Photo: Joshua White.
Karla Black and Kishio Suga
THE NEW MUSEUM, NEW YORK 26 OCTOBER - 15 JANUARY
THE WHITWORTH, MANCHESTER 14 OCTOBER - 19 MARCH
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART 22 OCTOBER - 19 FEBRUARY
Swiss-born video artist Pipilotti Rist’s exhibition at The New Museum is her first survey show in New York and comprises three floors of the museum. The elevator ride up to the fourth floor sets the stage, revealing why museum-goers queue around the block in anticipation of seeing Pixel Forest. At each stopping point the elevator door opens to reveal floor-to-ceiling strands of light that transition continuously into vivid pinks, oranges, cool whites, yellows, blues and purples. Once on the fourth floor, audiences enter a dark small corridor that leads into a new work: 4th Floor to Mildness. Several beds, which viewers can lie on if they remove their shoes, are positioned beneath two amoeba-shaped video projections on the ceiling. This is indicative of the artist’s recent work, which contains lush, non-narrative videos of water or grass, with amplified colours, ambient music and areas in which the audience can lounge. The strongest work in the show, Ever is All Over, (1997), is an earlier immersive video and is set apart from, whilst also laying a foundation for, Rist’s recent work. The artist performs in this video. Clad in a blue dress and red, glittery, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz shoes, she walks down a street in Switzerland with a long-stemmed flower that is in fact a cudgel, and proceeds to smash car windows. She smiles with abandon after smashing each window and at the end, a female police officer tips her hat and nods in approval. Rist’s particular strength is that she makes video art, a form which is often difficult to understand, accessible to a wider public whilst also providing a sensorial, layered and pleasure-filled experience.
The highlight of this small, solo exhibition is a Scottish artist Karla Black and Japanese artist monumental wall drawing, created especially by Kishio Suga have different backgrounds and contemporary British artist Idris Khan (b. 1978) for contexts, but they share an interest in subtle the Whitworth’s Landscape Gallery. Handprinted manipulations and combinations of everyday directly onto the wall using rubber stamps, materials. In this new exhibition, both the contrasts thousands of overlapping lines of text radiate and affinities come into view. Black combines out from a central point: both personal and domestic materials such as cotton wool, paint, inspired by Sufi writings, the words only become latex and kitchen roll in meticulous arrangements decipherable at the peripheries. In True belief that undercut a sense of finished work and seem belongs to the realm of real knowledge (2016), to slip out of or undermine gallery contexts. marks are accumulated over a stretch of time, so This is particularly apparent in Our Mark (2016), too in The Rite of Spring (2013) for which the artist an ultra-thin balsawood plinth-like object painted digitally overlapped photographs of the entire with eye-liner and edged with cotton wool. score of Stravinsky’s controversial masterpiece. Likewise, Suga’s work interacts with and calls The collapse of a durational process into a single attention to its space, such as Infinite Situation I image unites this showcase of pieces, all created in (Window) (1970) in which two blocks of natural the last five years. The extent to which the process wood prop open two windows in one of the reveals itself does, however, vary: Beginning or galleries, welcoming into the work the breeze and End (2013) adopts the same form as True belief, the noises from outside. In the same room, Edges with words including “work”, “instant” and “living” of Gathered Realms (1993) is a rectangular sheet in rich oil relief ink at its edges. By contrast, in The of zinc in the middle of the floor on which sits a Death of Painting 1-5 (2014), by contrast, the end careful arrangement of stones and rocks. Some result is five paper squares blackly obscured by of the rocks are framed and cushioned by small oil stick, with the phrase “the death of painting” incisions in the zinc, creating cut-out flaps. so thickly reiterated it has become indiscernible. Suga is most well known as a member of MonoThe inference also changes; the series transforms ha, The School of Things, a group of artists into an echo of Kasimir Malevich’s Black Square interested in objecthood, and it is the materiality (1913), which redefined perceptions of painting. and lack of interference with this strange mix of A preoccupation with time and loss makes up natural and industrial objects that makes it so the heart of this exhibition, where references are compelling. The works of the artists individually at once made and obfuscated, marks created rely on balance, inventive contrast, boldness and and buried. Indeed, there is a neat symbolism in minimalist restraint for their poetic effect, and the knowledge that the artist’s astonishing wall the same qualities also underpin the curatorial drawing will be painted over at the show’s close. decision to pair these two artists together.
Polly Checkland Harding
Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest
4. Palais de Tokyo. Photo: Florent Michel. 5. James Webb, Untitled (with the sound of its own making), 2016. Photo: Kyle Morland. Courtesy of the artist, blank projects, and Galerie Imane Farès. 6. Territories and Fictions: Thinking a New Way of the World. Courtesy of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
Tino Sehgal PALAIS DE TOKYO, PARIS 12 OCTOBER - 18 DECEMBER
James Webb: We Listen for the Future
Territories and Fictions. Thinking a New Way of the World
YSP, WAKEFIELD 1 OCTOBER - 26 FEBRUARY
MUSEO REINA SOFÍA, MADRID 25 OCTOBER - 13 MARCH
In the context of its “carte blanche” series of South African sound artist James Webb (b. 1975) In its new exhibition, Museo Reina Sofía takes solo artist exhibitions, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, has breaks the tranquility of the 18th century chapel a head-on approach to the current state of given Tino Sehgal the entire run of its 13,000 at YSP with regulated drumming in his new political and social affairs. The economic crisis, sq m space. Complexifying his usual practice in installation. Untitled (with the sound of its own the uncertain future of the European project, the response to the challenge posed, Sehgal invited a making) is both concordant and discordant with alarming rise of nationalism and populism all number of other contemporary artists to join the the maintenance of equanimity. Transgressions seem to point, to some degree, towards a dramatic project. The result is an interaction so discreet that of expected rhythmic patterns speak deeply of change in the global paradigm. Museum director you could amble through the exhibition without aural and bodily disquiet, yet the reverberations Manuel Borja-Villel and curators Cristina Cámara, realising that it was in fact a collaborative venture. – felt bodily and throughout the architecture – Beatriz Herráez, Lola Hinojosa and Rosario Peiró There are several possible entrances to the suggest harmony between the impermanence of present us with the role art has played in the many exhibition, which means that the chronology of such established institutions and the primal and years leading up to this unsettling situation. the unfolding events can be different each time. religious rituals they aspire to venerate. The show brings together a large array of This multiplicity is compounded by the fact that The migration of peoples is also an important artists whose works illustrate the curators’ main the individual’s experience will vary significantly subject for Webb. Outside YSP’s Chapel visitors premise: the “covert dictatorship” exercised by depending on the actors who decide to interact can find There’s no place called home in which neoliberalism on a global scale. The exhibition with you. It’s the kind of show that is ultimately the call of a non-native birds are situated in the presents different ways through which art has kaleidoscopic: no two viewings are the same. Yorkshire landscape. It is interesting that Webb opposed the development of this dominating All the entrances are initially hidden from view includes songs from these animals as they are political and economic force, of this “new way by an outsized pink bead curtain that viewers are perhaps the only species that consciously cross of the world”, a term taken by the curators from asked to part, and then they meet the first actor. geo-political borders, yet do so here only in spirit French thinkers Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot. They are greeted with a question that they are and at the hands of the artist. In this way, he has Globalisation lies at the core of the exhibition’s free to leave as a statement because the phrasing forced their voices into a different culture. concerns, and informs the rest of the areas of it is accompanied by semi-balletic gestures. If The artist is philosophically concerned with the discussed: the colonial character of Modernity, viewers choose to go straight under the Daniel thinking of Duchamp, such that the work of art is financial speculation, consumerism, gentrification. Buren-coloured dot ceiling, they will then come completed by the viewer. The attitudes possessed As the curators maintain, art’s role in this context across a small group of child actors. One of them by the audience does then alters the piece. As is problematic. On the one hand, the system awaits to offer up another existential question and such, an offering such as this is both highly claims to accept cultural and artistic expression engage members of the public in conversation topical and potentially challenging. A visitor who which lies outside the norm; on the other, it aims until a teenage actor picks up the thread, leading has mainstream attitudes towards migration might to absorb and thus neutralise it. It is capitalism’s on to an adult, and finally an elderly actor. reconsider lazy-minded mores if encouraged cannibalising nature that the artists here, such as Afterwards, observers are guided down the well without judgement. The figurative doctrine Zoe Leonard, Allan Sekula or Antoni Muntadas, of a staircase, and released into a wider space between the regulated drumming (of hands on try to resist. To what extent their works avoid where a human stampede erupts. As this abates, doors) at the chapel and associated spiritual cannibalisation and, at the same time, continue the actors gradually revert to slow motion. disquiet speaks of an appeal to higher civility. to function as art remains for the viewer to decide. Erik Martiny
Rubén Cervantes Garrido
Film still from Shoreline. Directed by Yalitsa Riden.
Creating International Dialogues AESTHETICA SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2016
“The BAFTAqualifying event brought 400 films to 18 cultural venues this November. City-wide locations married the contemporary with the historic, creating an autumnal playground for filmmakers and aficionados alike.”
Words Kate Simpson View the winning films: www.asff.co.uk/festival2016 Password: aesthetica2016
For a sixth year, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival, which has less-than-polished underworld in Beardyman – Mountainits home in York, initiated a global conversation about inde- side, the backdrop for present-day star-crossed lovers. Drama and Comedy, two of the most popular categories, pendent cinema. Having grown significantly since its inauguration in 2010, the BAFTA-qualifying event brought 400 were highlighted through Dejan Mrkic’s Silence and Detsky films to 18 cultural venues this November. City-wide loca- Graffam’s 90 Grad Nord respectively. The former follows a tions married the contemporary with the historic, creating an despairing musician as her hearing fades, whilst the latter constructs a Beckett-like world with flesh-eating traffic lights. autumnal playground for filmmakers and aficionados alike. From an Official Selection spanning 44 countries, 15 In the same vein, Dawn Han, winner of the thriller strand, took awards were presented. This included the newly established centre-stage for her surreal fable, Cork Man. Notorious for Northern Film School Award for Best Screenplay, given to the pushing the boundaries of innovation, the Best Experimental dynamic tale of conflict and resolution in Rhonna & Donna. and Artists’ Film awards were given to Bruno Decc for his Daina O. Pusic’s affecting script saw conjoined twins divided culturally sensitive work Two Sign’s Den: Epilogue and Callum by the chance to star in a poetically apt production of Romeo Hill for her reconciliatory piece Solo Damas. Audiences granted Stephen Parker’s Dust & Resin People’s and Juliet. Similar themes of opposition appeared throughout Sunit Parekh-Gaihede’s winning animation, Machine, in which Choice for its perception-altering narrative and the York Youth programme selected Peter Stanley-Ward’s inventive a struggling couple lose their son to industrialisation. At the other end of the spectrum – within the colour- comedy Litterbugs. But industry professionals chose the ful world of advertising – was John Wright’s technological coveted Best of Fest title. Fabio Palmieri (who also won Best marvel Robo-Trumble: Devoid of instruments or mechanics, Documentary) emerged with his heart-rending Irregulars, the however, was Marlene Millar’s outstanding dance film Lay story of Cyrille Kabore who fled from persecution. Informative and transformative, this year’s festival sparked Me Low – a communication of mourning through paradoxical intimacy. In the fashion arena, Victor Claramunt’s playful lasting connections, mapping a vision for the future of film. Breaking Rules juxtaposed decadent architecture with fresh- Thank you to BFI, York St John University, 1331, London faced disobedience and immaculate styling. Meanwhile, the College of Fashion, Make it York and Grand Central. Join the winner of Best Music Video, Lewis Rose, offered up a satirical, ASFF community in 2017, 8-12 November.
Romanticism in the Everyday PATERSON
way he diffuses both efficiently and without alarm. The only “There’s something real hint we get into our protagonist’s past is from a bedside romantic about photo of him in military attire, his former career not dissimilar this near-stranger, to that of Driver himself, who served in the marines shortly hunched over a after 9/11. We know nothing of how Paterson met Laura, how notebook, writing long they’ve been married, why he’s no longer serving. We lyrical, evocative are made to settle on the now, focusing on his actions. poems that will There’s something romantic about this near-stranger, likely never be read, hunched over a notebook, writing lyrical, evocative poems going home to his wife, that will likely never be read, going home to his wife, and and eating dinner eating dinner before dragging their dog to his local bar. before dragging their The sincerity behind both performances is powerful; dog to his local bar.” Driver is best in the moments when Paterson is thinking about what he’s going to say. Farahani conveys a breathless optimism to allow Laura to tease the best out of her husband. Jarmusch doesn’t stray far from what he knows, and this is by no means a bad thing. Paterson is a deliberate, almost meditative, feature that persuades the observer to take front Words seat with its title character as he marvels at the seemingly Beth Webb normal moments in his life. Perhaps more similar to Forest Whitaker’s solitary hitman in Ghost Dog: Way Of The Samurai than the plummy, style-over-substance romance between Paterson. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in Only Lovers Left Alive, In cinemas now. Paterson is a film of routine and ritual, a character piece with people that you feel lucky to be able to spend time with. www.sodapictures.com
Film still from Paterson. Courtesy of Soda Pictures. © Mary Cybulski.
A simple film with simple values, Jim Jarmusch’s lulling, sensitive Paterson is a gem of romanticism and beauty. Delivering a career-defining performance, Adam Driver is Paterson, a small-town bus driver and unpublished poet, whose notebook is filled with words inspired by his home (also named Paterson) and his wife. Jarmusch steadily guides us through a refreshingly happy, fully-formed marriage. Golshifteh Farahani plays Laura, the outwardly creative, passionate counterpart to Paterson’s private and patient soul, with a charm that proves hypnotic. She is never overbearing or false; indeed, Laura’s spontaneous ventures are successful (bar a well-intentioned cheddar cheese and Brussels sprout pie), and her love for Paterson remains unquestionable. We flit between the two during the day: Laura updating their furniture with her personal flair whilst Paterson absorbs snippets of conversations from his passengers and scribbles in his notebook during his break. Laura is no slouch – her days at home, cooking and creating, are through choice, and she delights in presenting Paterson with her handiwork when he comes home. Their only noticeable difference is in the form of a broad, wheezing bulldog called Marvin. Adored by Laura, the animal is quietly disliked by her husband. Peril in this movie is minimal. A faulty bus and a scuffle between lovers at the bar are as rough as it gets, both incidents letting us see a little more of Paterson, through the
film reviews Kate Plays Christine
Theo and Hugo
Robert Greene Dogwoof
Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman Lionsgate
Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau Peccadillo Pictures
The unanswerable question is “Why?” Why did Florida talk show hostess Christine Chubbock shoot herself live on TV in 1974? And if the footage was to still survive – it allegedly does – why would anyone wish to watch it? That’s the focus of Robert Greene’s film-within-a-film documentary as actress Kate (Kate Lyn Sheil) prepares to inhabit Christine (and enact her final performance) for a movie that actually doesn’t exist. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, Chubbock represents the ultimate challenge for an actor seeking honesty and truth in her interpretation. She was tanned, she was dark-haired, she was glamorous. And she was professional to the last, even writing the script for her death. Kate seeks answers for her character’s behaviour. But this is suicide for public consumption – reality television that’s real yet unreal. It’s the urban legend proved genuine. Greene avoids glorification. But it’s visceral and voyeuristic nonetheless. As for Christine Chubbock, she remains trapped in time. Yesterday’s headline. And utterly inscrutable.
As the ubiquity of smartphones increasingly blurs the distinction between online and “real” life, Joost and Schulman have followed up Catfish with a rumination on the consequences of online anonymity. Straight-laced Vee is coerced by her outgoing friends into a covert online game, Nerve, which demands its players complete dares in return for online fame and financial rewards. The easy manipulation of this straight-A student by Nerve’s unseen watchers is immediately (and unsettlingly) obvious, but Vee’s adventures with Ian, a fellow player, couple easy thrills with more prescient comment on teen culture today. Predictably, the dares soon take a darker turn. The sharp camerawork and pulsating soundtrack contribute to making Nerve a stylised insight into the augmented reality that teenagers increasingly inhabit, with neon high-action thrills interspersed with teen-screen clichés. Although the debates at the heart of Nerve are nothing new, the chemistry between actors Emma Roberts and Dave Franco lifts the film, despite its moralising final sequence.
Theo and Hugo has an unusual start for a romantic film: an 18-minute orgy. Inside L’Impact, a sex club in Paris, young Theo (Geoffrey Couët) and Hugo (François Nambot) share a passionate, earthshaking encounter. However, on their bike ride home Theo mentions he failed to use protection and Hugo reveals, in dismay, he is HIV positive. What follows is a tumultuous night (actually, morning) that begins in the hospital and later unravels across the city’s empty streets. Directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau let the action play out in real time. It’s a big ask for actors Couët and Nambot, who must keep these 97 minutes moving on their own, swinging from euphoria to frustration sometimes in seconds. Paris’s green-tinged, chameleon charm pervades every shot and keeps things interesting. Ultimately, the film pulls off a difficult task: handling the gravity of HIV without objectifying its sufferers. It’s a life-changing encounter that’s about far more than the virus: a film where trust, optimism and, above all, romance are uppermost.
Steve Hoover Curzon Artificial Eye
Athina Rachel Tsangari StudioCanal
Childhood of a Leader
Steve Hoover’s documentary offers a stark reflection on a broken social and political system, amidst the fragility of democracy. Centring on Pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko’s work with drug-addicted children and the marginalised in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the film looks beyond the Ukraine’s confinement as a news story. Mokhnenko channels the individual’s propensity to galvanise a collective around social proactivity, succeeding where the political system fails. Yet his world is part of a wider one, whose past lay eastward, and whose European Union versus Russian Federation future has been the catalyst for division. Eastern Europe has long been defined by struggle and Hoover effectively casts Soviet Russia as a malevolent spirit turned reincarnated antagonist. The broken society Mokhnenko works to fix stirs one’s emotions and perceptions. Meanwhile, the meditation on war, and the struggle to escape from the past, offers a thematic thoughtfulness to the film. If Dostoyevsky’s novels acted as inspiration, then within its own scope, Almost Holy inspires contemplation.
Following the success of Attenberg, director Athina Brady Corbet‘s unnerving Rachel Tsangari teams up debut, Childhood of a with Efthymis Filippou Leader, is a delectable view (Dogtooth, The Lobster ) to into the young minds that co-write her third feature film, Chevalier, a tongue- introduce drastic social and political change. Set in-cheek take on alpha male supremacy aboard in France in a pre-fascist era, the movie portrays similar traits of manipulation to those found in a luxury yacht in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Pitted against one another, the all-star cast – all Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk about Kevin six of whom collectively picked up Best Actor at and Richard Donner’s classic supernatural horror, 2015’s Sarajevo’s Film Festival – compete to win The Omen, whilst of course referencing Jean Paul the title of “the best”, and subsequently wear the Sartre’s existentialist title of the same name. The fear that envelops the film undeniably victorious signet ring, the “Chevalier.” Throughout the course of their journey home from a fishing parallels the unsteady state of affairs found intrip, the six men descend into alpha-absurdity, ternationally. Even though it dates back to postbeginning to compare everything – from coffee World War I, and as such has undercurrents of the choices and flatpack assembly abilities to coming World War II, the protagonist in question is, interestingly, American. Childhood of a Leader physical endowment, and so on. As each male’s scoring systems (small notepad provides intriguing dialogues between Europe in hand) adds to the pressure, various alliances and America as well as past and present politics. Having won two awards at the Venice Internaand betrayals emerge behind composed grimaces. Whilst at times the comedy is lost, Tsangari’s tional Film Festival, Corbet poignantly charts deadpan humour and ridiculing of masculine the development of authoritarian values, asking rivalry is gloriously concluded with an exuberant unsettling questions about nature versus nurture and the capability of humanity. rendition of Lovin’ You by Minnie Riperton.
Brady Corbet Soda Pictures
Folklore Inspired Melodies MENACE BEACH
Cults, curses and death – not your typical indie rock muses, the place is like a legendary electronic music realm, but you “Death isn’t exactly a by any means. But all three converged to become the key can totally see why all those hippies went there in the 1960s new muse for us. I’ve influences behind Menace Beach’s new album, Lemon – it just feels magical and creative. I thought it was gonna be realised it’s almost Memory. The record, their press release reveals, was made just like Magaluf, but it really is beautiful and old and slow.” always in the lyrics After a big Fall kick, the pair decided to inject some space somewhere ... I got in part as kind of sonic hex-breaker, a musical effort to “lift a citrus-based curse” that the founding duo of co-vocalists, into their usually dense, fuzzy sound. Back in Sheffield, into channelling working with producer Ross Orton (MIA, Arctic Monkeys, The energies and spells. I Liza and Ryan, believe was placed on their house. “When we lived in Derby, about six years ago, someone Fall), they approached certain tracks – Maybe We’ll Drown ; had to walk away left a dozen lemons in a white sheet tied up with rope in Lemon Memory ; Owl – like electronic numbers rather than from it after a while the front garden,” explains Ryan. “I thought it was odd, and guitar tunes. “We looped the drums and chopped stuff up because it’s one of they just got left to rot with the other rubbish.” One debut and built the songs up rather than getting a live-in-the-room those things you keep album later (2015’s Ratworld ), Ryan unwittingly stumbled take,” explains Ryan. He may sing on the majority of the getting deeper into.” across references to the “lemon curse. I was reading all this album, but Liza built the bones of the melodies. “Loads of occult stuff – Aleister Crowley; a book on cults – and it was the songs were written around woozy synth lines that I had, just there; you can put a curse on someone by wrapping up or these spikey guitar lines cycling round and round. I like lemons and either burying them on their property or leaving layering up melodies that get out of sync and then sync back them where they’ll be found. I don’t remember anything up, or sticking in a jarring guitar solo somewhere.” Ryan continues: “Death isn’t exactly a new muse for us. I’ve particularly bad happening around then, but that whole realised it’s almost always in [the lyrics] somewhere.” But the period was pretty shitty and miserable, so who knows?” What to do when life gives you lemons, literally? In Menace occult influence certainly is. “I was getting really stuck into Beach’s case, you fly to sunny Ibiza and write an album of that [esoteric literature]. Some of it is a bit sixth form but I got Words potent guitar tunes to blast away the malchance. “We went into channelling energies and spells. I had to walk away from Charlotte R.A. there on a cheap post-tour holiday and realised it’d be a great it after a while because it’s one of those things you can just place to hang out for a few weeks and write songs. So we went keep getting deeper and deeper into, and I don’t have the back and got an Airbnb and a couple of guitars. Obviously, time to become a warlock at the moment.” www.menacebeach.co.uk
Imaginative Soundscapes AUSTRA
become real.” Star Trek’s interactive computer, for example, “Reading about became the internet, whilst the genetic modification that prospects for the future Marge Piercy conjured up in Woman On The Edge Of Time that I hadn’t really is now common practice in agriculture and science. The considered before album, then, is about dreaming the future to life. It’s a dance allowed me to feel record coloured by Western academia, sci-fi adventures, a excited ... Dystopiannew-found sense of self and also Latin American dance and utopian-themed music; specifically, electrocumbia – an indigenous subgenre books have made me Stelmanis came across during a period spent living in Mexico. realise that almost “I decided to go to Mexico kind of randomly and was very everything humans fortunately placed in a community of artists and friends. I’m have imagined has almost embarrassed to say I didn’t know what cumbia music become real.” was before going to Mexico and it totally blew my mind.” Listen closely to Future Politics and you’ll hear a bedrock of sounds that echo, mirror and mimic the rhythms we might come across in natural spaces: woods, forests, mountain ranges and even human bodies. “There are a lot of direct samples from nature on that record,” Stelmanis confirms, “I wanted to re-embrace soft synths and laptop-based music making, but I wanted to contrast that with organic sounds. It’s the constant struggle for an electronic music producer: to Words make things sound like they were created organically.” Charlotte R.A. This is what Future Politics sounds like then: an album that draws from land and space for ideas, a take on dance music that urges us to “imagine better, and to imagine big.” www.austramusic.com
Austra. Photo: Kate Young.
“I think it’s common for millennials to feel this constant sense of doom,” explains Katie Stelmanis, founder and frontwoman of Canadian electro outfit, Austra. “We all have debt, we’re all watching an actual apocalypse develop that we may see within our lifetime.” Financial crises, global warming, state violence: when impending catastrophe is your daily constant, it easy to become apathetic – not an ideal creative mind-set for penning the follow-up to Austra’s 2013 album, Olympia. Thankfully, a stack of texts by radical political thinkers – Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams, Naomi Klein – transformed Stelmanis’ apathy into something more productive: hope. “I was feeling [despondent], but reading about prospects for the future that I hadn’t really considered before allowed me to feel excited about something.” That sense of informed hope, of viable alternatives, became the crux of the record. Future Politics – a record that features an all-female production cast and sees Stelmanis in solo mode, following “the dissolution of a few faith-sustaining relationships, romantically and within the band” – is an album that invites us to remember that apocalypse is not inevitable, that change is possible. It’s a bold ask, given the turbulent times. A newfound love of sci-fi books – particularly feminist sci-fi from the 1970s – has filled Stelmanis with a sense of possibility. “Dystopian- and utopian-themed books have made me realise that almost everything humans have imagined has
music reviews Gabriella Cohen
Full Closure and No Details Remote Control / Captured Tracks
Seven Days NW1 Records
No Waves Matador
Drenched with the nostalgic pangs of heartache mirrored by a melancholic optimism, Gabriella Cohen’s debut is a layered fuzz-pop assemblage of sounds reminiscent of The Velvet Underground and Nick Cave. Packed with distorted guitars and empathic pianos, Full Closure and No Details cocoons listeners into a realm of transition: between the sadness of an ending and the confidence of a beginning. Timeless in its adaptability and ambiguity, Cohen’s album strays from the dreamy melodies of Downtown to the vocoder-infused and feverish drums of Feelin’ Fine and finale Alien Anthem. Its accomplished ability to exude raw emotion and yet, as its title suggests, evade detail, provides fans with a vital platform to make their own. Paired with its acoustic diversity – with echoes of Kate Bush’s theatricality heard in Yesterday and the likes of Indie-duo Best Coast reverberating in Sever the Walls – this impressive debut’s laid-back attitude is reflected in its ten-day production-time. www.gabriellacohen.bandcamp.com.
Sheridan Tongue’s latest venture, Seven Days, is the BAFTAnominated TV and film composer’s first studio album. Having created soundscapes for Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Solar System amongst other programmes, Tongue has now mapped out his own melodic landscape. Weaving together electronics, piano scores and orchestral threads, the work is a contemporary ode to Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and a textural experience of sounds. Each of the eight tracks provides cadences of waves, bobbing against the shores of modern-day electronics. It’s easy to see Brian Eno and Kraftwerk amongst the classical undertones, with experimental splashes of emotion scattered throughout the piece. The debut is prettily solemn, providing a speechless narrative without explanation or resolution, simply standing as a shadow of a feeling or a memory. Opening tracks Seven Days, Our Story and Scarletts’s Love take slow, sweeping scores of haunting despondence, setting up an impassioned and experimental vision of how music should be. www.sheridantongue.com.
No Waves is the second album from Body/ Head, the duo of Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth, Free Kitten) and guitarist Bill Nace (Northampton Wools, Ceylon Mange). Characterised by experimental, free-form guitar drones and Gordon’s distinctive voice, the work is an intense mosaic of the ethereal and ritualistic in equal parts. Featuring original cover artwork by worldrenowned artist Raymond Pettibon, the tracks were recorded on 24 March 2014 during Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN at the Bijou Theatre. Although the duo has played only a limited number of shows since forming, its elusive sound almost demands listening. Primal and atmospheric, the raw beauty of Sugar Water is split apart by desperate, plaintive vocals reaching out in the darkness. The engagingly dystopian The Show Is Over manages to balance calm and mania on a taut musical wire, leaving the listener unsure of what is coming next. What could be a restrictive set-up proves instead to be anything but, as Gordon and Nace play with a disarmingly intuitive and reactive force. www.bodyheadmusic.com.
Air Is Free | EP Polydor
Parfaite et Impudique Feint
Born in the Woods WWNBB Collective
Swedish rock duo Johnossi continue a prolific career with their latest EP chock-full of brash guitar riffs and catchy choruses. As so often found in Scandanavian music of any genre, the production quality is vast and unbelievably crisp. The anthemic, rabble-rousing hooks – particularly of the opener, Air Is Free – lend themselves to festival singalongs in their universal, cool simplicity. Echoes of a modern Green Day, influenced somehow by years of subconscious absorption of the repeating hopeful riffs of dance music by Fatboy Slim-esque producers, creeps in and sways throughout the four solid songs of this short release. The EP’s highlight is the decidedly slower to build and more brilliantly introspective Alone In The Summer, with lead singer John Engelbert lamenting a love lost in the fog of time. There is a huge American post-punk angsty influence here, and a clear playing- by-numbers, Maroon 5 style of songwriting, but it works to Johnossi’s advantage as, regardless of its huge commercial potential, their bluesy-pop is somehow entirely endearing. www.johnossi.com.
The Bordeaux / Lyonbased duo, Psch-Pshit, are an innovative, addictive and multilingual synth-pop creation. Combining English and French in their feminist-tinted lyrics, the darker side of electro-pop comes to the surface in their debut album, Parfaite et Impudique. Creating a personalised landscape for their musical endeavours, the band let us into a unique and hazy dreamscape of rhythm and expression. Rich in literary and existential themes – the opening L’Ancêtre taking its title from the book of the same name by Juan José Saer – the eighttrack wonder is a pagan-esque celebration of sensuality and underground voices. Notable tracks include Derailing and Phoenix Autruche, which, amongst other creations on the album provide an example of the band’s aversion to gender-establishment. Through a retro-chorus of sounds, the duo rally their listeners into a hypnotic world of industrialism and siren-like calls where freedom is the end goal. An original and intriguing mix of cultures, styles and instrumental experimentation. www.pschpshit.bandcamp.com.
Stumbling across your teenage diary is a unique kind of embarrassment; feeling the pang of melodrama, awkwardness and po-faced soul searching that comes with adolescence. But the experience of listening to 19-year-old Alice Bisi’s debut album, Born in the Woods, couldn’t be further from this. Through her alter ago, BIRTHH, the Italian songwriter has captured the gloom of youth in both a timeless and assured manner. Whilst rooted in folk, these ten songs evoke a darker, harder sound with distorted guitars and layer upon layer of eerie synths. Senses spirals into a morose tangle of crunching electro that lands somewhere between Björk and Nicolas Jaar. Meanwhile, Interlude for the Lifeless repeats “This is how I wanna die” over and over as waves of vocal harmony waft over sparse taps and clacks. But there’s elation too. Pop-tastic Chlorine fizzes with XX-tinged guitar before exploding into jubilant chaos. Lorde’s influence is evident throughout the album. There’s no bass, and often no chorus, but a winding narrative that peaks and pangs. Spellbinding. www.birthh.com.
Formal Innovation A NEW CELEBRATION OF CIRCUS ARTS OPENS IN SYDNEY, SHOWCASING THE VERY BEST IN THE MEDIUM AND AN EVOLUTION FROM TRADITIONAL STYLE INTO MODERNITY.
Circus occupies an interesting space in the world of perfor- that transcends drag, cabaret and more (bringing boylesque mance art: it has similarities with both dance and theatre yet to a more mainstream audience) and with a thriving alternait is a completely unique form of expression. Over the dec- tive theatre scene, Australia is also a hotbed of innovation. ades, it has transformed: starting in London in the late 1700s In January 2017, the Sydney Festival launches its inaugural with Philip Astley’s theatre for equestrian feats, it has since Circus City, a programme dedicated to honour the history of developed into fantastical events fit for the whole family. the art form whilst highlighting its emerging styles. Wesley Although people have always played a role in the circus, Enoch, the newly appointed Festival Director, notes: “The they were not always at its core. This only began to change work that is presented owes a huge debt to ‘trad’ circus in with the American model that altered expectations and pre- the form of collective and collaborative genres, the family determined definitions. With the addition of the “freak show” atmosphere, touring structures and the continued ‘otherness’ element, animals took a back seat as people stepped into or ‘freak’ components of the stories being told.” And, indeed, the foreground. This was only perpetuated with the rise of performances define human physical capability. This investigation has developed through the rise of groups animal rights movements, until human skill, risk, daring and devoted to studying the position of the body in space. By enterprise became the widely recognised definition. Australia has always had strong affiliations with the circus creating a new physical language, conversations are made concept – as a country renowned for its involvement with between each figure and the way it invades certain settings. horsemanship, the early equestrian form found a comfort- Britain’s Barely Methodical Troupe, whose works include able home there – but has also led the way with its devel- Bromance and Kin, do this with dynamic representations opment of contemporary arts. One of the first groups in the of relationships, whilst Australia’s Gravity and Other Myths world to create an act without animals was Circus Oz (1978). attempt to demonstrate beauty. In A Simple Space, all other Formed in Melbourne, it concentrated on physical ability, elements are taken away so as to examine the limits of our with theatrical and rock and roll elements added for spec- bodies in a visually appealing act. At the festival, Circa tacle. In the spirit of revolution, the group was generally in- present Humans, a specially commissioned world premiere. As the title suggests, the show is a no-holds-barred volved in radical change, not just in the way that the show was received but also in what it could stand for – the compa- celebration of our existence. Circa’s initial creative impulse ny had (and continue to have) a social justice agenda, often was to discuss the spaces between bodies as they collide and separate, employing a compelling mixture of dance, circus, including protests for the rights of women or Aboriginals. It’s this quality that persists in the Southern Hemisphere movement and theatre. Directed by Yaron Lifschitz, a multitoday. Birthplace of The Briefs Factory, a physical collective talented ensemble combine the “stripped-back sensibility
Left: Tipping Point – Ockham’s Razor. Photo: Mark Dawson Photography. Right: Humans. Photo: Sarah Walker. Previous Page: Humans. Photo: Sarah Walker.
and aesthetic of contemporary movement with phenomenal acrobatic prowess.” Although similarities between these forms are evident, it is with sheer daring and unpalatable risk that we find a new and unique production being born. In the same way that dance explores the relationship between bodies and various locations, so too can circus have a similar objective – conveying emotion through movement. Enoch observes: “Modern Australia offers a response to traditional practices. The decreasing use of animals and the “sideshow freaks” allowed contemporary visions to focus on the skills of the human figure against all odds.” This capacity is often showcased in parallel with equipment that furthers the reach of the performer, but Enoch emphasises that: “The central idea is how they expose the body to risk, danger and beauty.” Apparatus then enables people to put themselves in greater danger and thus instil a further sense of fascination. To some degree the use of equipment elevates the search for what we mean to be “human”, if only in the sense that it exposes performers to different situations, sometimes literally elevating them high above the crowd. Enoch is keen to see how objects can play a part in questioning what it means to exist within today’s world: “I am interested in seeing how this analogue genre can engage in new technologies in unprecedented ways, testing the limits of what is possible.” One company that is questioning the role of equipment in relation to the body is the British company, Ockham’s Razor. The Mill (2010) included a large wheel suspended from a rig that was powered by a system of ropes, pulleys and drums and operated by practitioners using their strength and weight to gather momentum. The notion of trust between the people on stage is brought into focus through the materials
which are placed between them, at the same time exploring “Reflecting on the how our limbs can become intertwined with machinery. diversity of the For the Sydney Festival Ockham’s Razor introduce their practice, the festival fantastic new work Tipping Point. Set in the round, five renders heartperformers transform five-metre-long metal poles into a stopping moments complex system of walkways, pillars and pendulums. This and dialogues between new show highlights the way that people support one another, organic forms that gaining or losing control in a chaotic world. Although bring to light the Ockham’s Razor and Circa present two very different acts, sheer fascination inter-connective dialogues are fundamental to them both. with being alive.” In the former, the way in which dancers interact with each other is pivotal as a way of manipulating the equipment – their pieces are rarely about one person’s conversation with apparatus but are more concerned with the group dynamic and the benefits and difficulties of teamwork, of society. Enoch asserts: “What Tipping Point and Humans share is a central sense of beauty and aesthetic development.” He explains that what he likes most about each and every group is: “how narratives are formed differently. They are not necessarily literal stories but figurative journeys of emotion and blood rush.” In all the productions at Circus City, this collective sense of understanding is present. Audiences are invited into an arena of aspiration. Reflecting on the diversity of the show, the festival renders heart-stopping moments Words and dialogues between organic forms that bring to light the Bryony Byrne sheer fascination with being alive. Some acts are intimate and stripped back, whilst others take a more conceptual approach and use collaborations with other forms to look Circus City. at relationships in new and often extended ways. All of the 12-22 January. shows, however, explore the physical brilliance of the body and the seeming limitlessness of its possibilities. www.sydneyfestival.org.au
Live On Stage 5 RECOMMENDED PRODUCTIONS THIS SEASON
Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, 23-28 January. Written by Owen Sheers. Directed by John Retallack and George Mann.
Pink Mist tells the story of three young Bristol men deployed to Afghanistan. Returning to the women in their lives, who must now share the psychological aftershocks, Arthur, Hads and Taff find their journey home is their greatest battle. Inspired by 30 interviews with servicemen, it was first staged at Bristol Old Vic in 2015. This critically acclaimed show matches Sheers’s haunting verse with dynamic movement. Following its sell-out seasons in London and Bristol in 2016, it returns to Bristol for seven shows before it sets off on a national tour of the UK. Box Office: +44 (0) 117 987 7877. www.bristololdvic.org.uk.
Fleabag Soho Theatre, London, 5-16 December. Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Vicky Jones.
Following its hugely successful BBC production, Soho Theatre Associate Company DryWrite’s original production of Fleabag returns to Soho Theatre for a limited season. Written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this multi-award winning show is a rip-roaring account of some sort of a female living her sort of life. Trying to cope with life in London, Fleabag attempts to navigate adulthood. Recently adapted into a hit BBC series featuring Olivia Colman, the stage version is directed by Vicky Jones, whose play The One won the 2013 Verity Bargate Award. Box Office: +44 (0) 20 7478 0100. www.sohotheatre.com.
Removal Men The Yard Theatre, London, Until 10 December. Written by M. J. Harding and directed by Jay Miller.
Mo works at an immigration removal centre as a detention officer. After being sent on workplace training to improve his sense of empathy, he falls madly in love with Didi, a detainee. Stripping characters of their uniformity, hidden layers start to be revealed and human nature prevails as the common element. As M. J. Harding’s theatrical debut, this topical show is inspired by real-life stories from all sides of the system, presenting an affecting story of a country torn apart by displacement. Juxtaposing naturalistic scenes with live music, songs and dance. Box Office: + 44 (0) 20 3111 0570. www.theyardtheatre.co.uk.
Angry Brigade Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto, Canada. Until 4 December. Written by James Graham and directed by Eda Holmes and Kate Lynch.
Against a backdrop of Tory cuts, high unemployment and the deregulated economy of 1970s Britain, a young urban guerrilla group mobilises: The Angry Brigade. Their targets are MPs, embassies, police, pageant queens. A world of order is shattered by anarchy. As a special police squad hunt the terrorists whose identities shocked the nation, we enter a frenzied world that looks much like our own. Eda Holmes and Kate Lynch set the worlds of order and chaos into opposition and present a timely Canadian premiere of James Graham’s heart-stopping thriller. Box Office: +1 416 504 7529. www.passemuraille.ca.
Mia Blonde in Ice Dagger Q Theatre, Auckland, New Zealand, 13 - 17 December. Created by Dynamotion and choregraphed by Thomas Sainsbury & Lara Liew.
After a sell-out season at the Basement Theatre, Dynamotion brings “Blonde” back to life. Paying homage to the birth of the “Bond Film” franchise in the 1960s, this is a retro-inspired romp in true Dynamotion style – tongue firmly planted in cheek! Stereotypes are fulfilled and subverted, ridiculous characters are crafted with humour and heart. Joined by a host of delightfully devious villains, double agents and sexy love-interests, Mia travels from Egypt to the Swiss Alps where she meets her match in Belarusian ice-skating Femme Fatale, Ima Helavavich. Box Office: + 64 09 309 9771. www.qtheatre.co.nz.
book reviews Inventing Downtown
Palazzos of Power
Melissa Rachleff Prestel
Aaron V. Wunsch & Joseph E. B. Elliott Princeton Architectural Press
1971: A Year in the Life of Colour Darby English University of Chicago Press
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, artists in New York began persuading This book offers an café owners in the city’s intelligent exploration into Greenwich Village to display their paintings. These power stations and their position and society from artists had been unable to find spaces willing to 1900 to 1930. Focusing on the buildings created show or sell contemporary work, and took matters by the Philadelphia Electric Company, Aaron into their own hands. This is the starting point for V. Wunsch details the origin, use and eventual Melissa Rachleff’s excellent study of New York’s decline of power stations in the USA. distinctive mid-century Downtown art scene. Living now, a century on from the adoption The text is divided into five chapters which of electricity in cities but with new technologies collectively focus on the institutional and being introduced daily, it is interesting to discover exhibition histories of 14 different galleries, the way in which private electric companies from the cooperative Tanager, Hansa and Brata endeavoured to assimilate their new technology galleries to Yoko Ono’s 112 Chambers Street Loft into public society and to legitimise it. A Victorian and Richard Bellamy’s Green Gallery. admiration of industry saw architecture play Much of the content hinges on the tension be- a large part in positioning the power stations tween self-run artists’ movements and commer- within the realm of civic mindedness and Joseph cial viability. Rachleff moves away from stylistic E. B. Elliott’s beautiful photographs showcase the labelling in favour of seeing Downtown art on its grandeur of the structures they built. own terms. She makes a powerful case that these The book is a dense read, with perhaps too little artists were – usually – striving for more, taking space or photography devoted to the transition of major exhibitions if the chance arose. Thoroughly the buildings and their current use. However, for researched and engagingly written, this will be en- those interested in the architecture and its origins, joyed by enthusiasts and art historians alike. it is an interesting and insightful portrayal.
Darby English, Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, examines two seminal exhibitions of abstract modernist art which took place in 1971: The DeLuxe Show, the first racially integrated exhibition of its scale in the US and Contemporary Black Artists in America, presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The attractive volume starts with a detailed introduction in which English expands on the issues faced by black artists grappling with 1960s and 1970s politics of representation whilst staking a claim within abstract art. The subsequent chapters comprise lengthy analyses of each exhibition, with the author’s examination of individual pieces and artists weaved into a larger exploration of the ways in which the staging of the exhibitions, as well as the participating artists’ work, contributed to an overall questioning and reshaping of the “black artist” narrative. English offers a dynamic and comprehensive study of colour as a sociopolitical tool, and how this affected the way that colour was more widely negotiated by the wider cultural context.
Marisa Merz: The Sky is a Great Space
Dan Flavin: Corners, Barriers, Corridors
Connie Butler Prestel
Michael Auping & Alexandra Whitney David Zwirner
Christian Caujolle Thames & Hudson
Published alongside an exhibition held collaboratively at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, this book surveys 50 years of work by the Italian artist Marisa Merz. Though she is frequently considered a maker of “gorgeous and poetic objects”, the book attempts to highlight instead her role as a radical, influential and fundamental participant in Italian mid-century art. Her position as the only woman in the avantgarde arte povera movement has made Merz a somewhat marginal figure and six essays consider her within the broader contexts of the 20th century. The writers aim to bring Merz’s work to a wider audience: despite being well known in Europe – and a recipient of the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award (2013) – she has exhibited infrequently in the US until now. Accompanied by a large number of high-quality coloured plates, the informed and articulate essays in this book have a valuable role to play in emphasising the ongoing importance of Merz’s subtle and deeply personal work.
Corners, Barriers and Corridors takes as its point of departure the influential show, corners, barriers and corridors in fluorescent light from Dan Flavin, on at the Saint Louis Art Museum in 1973. Flavin, known for his use of commercially available fluorescent lamps, was a pioneering figure of the American minimalist movement. His installations, or self-titled “situations”, employ colour and light to redefine the audience’s perception of space. Created for the 2015 retrospective at David Zwirner, the title excels through new photographs that dynamically accentuate the works’ “exoskeleton” – a term used by critic Donald Judd and again by Michael Auping in his contributing essay to describe the situational palettes conjured by overlapping hues. Rare archive images of Flavin installing his 1973 show followed by Alexandra Whitney’s notes about the St. Louis presentation provide a vital historical accompaniment. Auping’s text evokes a renewed appreciation of early works concerning the architectural scope of corners, barriers, and corridors.
The International Center of Photography, New York, awarded Thames & Hudson’s Photofile series the first annual prize for distinguished photographic books. Since then, several titles have been published featuring icons including Jacques Henri Lartigue, Lewis Carroll, Walker Evans and Man Ray. William Klein, the newest in the series, is a simply designed view of the acclaimed French photographer. Showcasing nothing more than his energy-filled snapshots of everyday life, the intimate book adds no further distraction, explanation or critique other than an informative introduction by Christian Caujolle (who studied alongside the likes of Roland Barthes.) The publication invites the reader into the world of chaos that Klein captured: moments of distortion, movement and blurred emotion. It is in these fleeting fragments of humanity that the multi-disciplinary artist shaped his notion of the metropolis, and this well-presented survey is a testament to the pieces he collected across New York, Tokyo and Moscow. A taste of Klein’s imagination is encapsulated through 66 illustrations.
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Pale Moon with Crane, 2016. 150cm x 120cm.
Laurence Wood www.laurencewood.co.uk www.translatingnewterritories.com www.laceycontemporarygallery.co.uk
Stephanie pfriender Stylander www.stephaniepfrienderstylander.com
In the art of taxidermy, gesture is paramount, hence for jeweller and taxidermist Julia deVille, the most considered aspect of creation is composing her subjects to find a balance between pathos, humour and dignified realism.
To be included in the Artists’ Directory contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or email@example.com.
Hitoshi Tsuboyama Hitoshi Tsuboyama is a painter based in Japan. The main characteristic of his works lies in the unique sense of space that he produces. In his practice, he is testing a new (neutral) approach to space, bringing together a Western three-dimensional style of painting with an oriental planar style of painting. Together with considering the possibilities of painting, Tsuboyama aims to give new perspectives to those who view his works.
Cherish Marshall Manipulated canvasses explore vulnerability: how it effects the sufferer and observer. cherishmarshall.wixsite.com/cherishmarshall
Image: Still from the film Constellation 89th, 90th, and 91st.
Image: Envision: Wild Carrot.
Multi-award winning photographer Anne Hoerter was born in Canada and is currently based in Germany. Her work contains multiple images of botanicals as a single composition. She is fascinated by the examination of new ways to exhibit these forms, whilst taking inspiration from 16-18th century still life painting and scientific illustration. In this way, she comments on the wider digital world, focusing on how we perceive and re-invent content through the internet.
Tamao Narukawa is a Japanese artist, based in London and exhibiting internationally. Her work takes a poetic approach, using metaphors and parables, creating a juxtaposition of humour and seriousness. She says: “Fact is transposed to fiction, fiction is transposed to fact. This seemingly paradoxical logic represents my work.’’
Larissa Bone Larissa Bone is an interdisciplinary artist working with video, performance, photography and sculpture. She explores the connections of everyday experiences with broader social or ethical issues, raising questions of value, belonging and the loss of individuality. Her most recent works are reminiscent of chiaroscuro paintings, the light and dark contrasts also serving as a metaphor for cross-cultural identities such as her own Ukrainian-English background.
GeorGe Samuel Bothamley With an artistic practice that includes poetry, short stories and philosophy, George Samuel Bothamley currently specialises in pure pen and ink drawings, often featuring cityscapes and portraits. Inspired by Classical art and Romantic literature, he seeks to fulfil Renaissance ideals in a contemporary world.
Image: Big Blue, 2007. Mixed media on canvas, 146.5cm x 132.5cm.
Moich Abrahams The work of award-winning artist Moich Abrahams has been selected for numerous exhibitions in London, including ICA, Hayward Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Camden Arts Centre, Royal College of Art, Menier Gallery and The Discerning Eye at The Mall Galleries. His work Big Blue is a 2016 ArtSlant Prize Showcase Winner in the mixed-media category.
Image: Vertigo, 2016. Inks and acrylics on paper, 140cm x 124cm.
To be included in the Artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Directory contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alberto Repetti Alberto Repetti is an Italian artist whose work is a continuous research into encounters between the real and the imaginary. Through varied materials and experiences, he creates a unique and unrepeatable result. His work is on view at Cass Business School in London until August 2017.
Alex Beswetherick UK-based Alex Beswetherick takes inspiration from the everyday, capturing how humanity functions in a given environment. He often reproduces figures in a way that expresses their movement using paint, print and sculpture. In doing so he turns the images into something both unfamiliar yet relatable. www.alexbeswetherick.wordpress.com email@example.com
www.albertorepetti.com Instagram: @albertorepetti
Alex Cassels After nearly 15 years in the animation world, Alex Cassels has made a transition into the field of photography. Commissions for various hotels, travel and property companies have enabled him to follow his passion for producing images of the natural world as well as black and white cityscapes. His collection of limited edition prints is exclusively available at Artfinder. www.alexcasselsphotography.com
Babak Roshaninejad Iranian artist Babak Roshaninejad (b.1977) has been inspired and influenced by social philosophy and the global language of the visual arts. Self-taught, he uses painting to express his views on culture and in particular the social effects of shared content, emphasising the power of art as an expressive tool in creating cross-cultural dialogue. www.assarartgallery.com
Billie Thackwell Billie Thackwell is a British-born artist based in Oslo, Norway. She has developed a unique style inspired by Polaroids. She has appeared in numerous exhibitions in Oslo, and has also exhibited in New York and Glasgow. www.billiethackwell.com Instagram: @billiethackwell_art
Cécile van Hanja The painting shown is inspired by the Farnsworth House, designed by Mies van der Rohe. The form of the construction, a cage with continuous glass walls, together with pillars that lift it from the ground, make the architecture as close as it can be to its original idea: a floating volume with a floating terrace. The result is an atmospheric perspective on a linear architecture. www.cecilevanhanja.nl
Image: The King of Thorns, 2016. Hand paper cut, laser cut text, monoprint, 3.3m x 1.2m (x13).
Image: Modernistic Altitude, 2016. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 90cm x 120cm.
Image: Lordship (i), 2016. Glass, 45cm x 35cm x 39cm.
Amanda Lwin London-based mixed media artist Amanda Lwin focuses on cities, buildings and landscapes in their cultural, social or political contexts. Her current series Lordship considers property, regeneration, the mythic idea of inspiration, topophilia and the disappearance of a certain type of London, all embodied in a nondescript house in Stoke Newington. www.placesandthings.org.uk
Chloe Wilson Chloe Wilson uses print and paper cutting to produce artists’ books varying in scale, design, functionality and texture. She uses a combination of techniques to create sculptural books that work both as a traditional storybook and as a visual artwork. Wilson has a BA in Contemporary Art Practice, specialising in printmaking, from Gray’s School of Art. www.chloe-wilson.co.uk
Christiane Zschommler Christiane Zschommler is absorbed by the timeless process of photographing shapes and colours produced by random occurrences, revealing a beauty that is not obvious and only present for a brief moment. It is the search for something quiet which has long since ceased to be noticed.
Claudia Pombo Claudia Pombo’s The Arachnid’s Guardian portrays a human-like soul, living in harmony with dangerous creatures from the cave, its presence illuminating their space. www.clpombo.wordpress.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Colez Creating ultra-bright acrylic paintings and digital hybrids, Colez continues to revel in the refinement of his art. He says: “My skills and techniques are catching up to my original vision.” Think to Hope is one of his latest works that showcases his imagination. www.colesbrightcolors.com Image: no.421, 2016. Digital montage.
Denise McAuliffe Hutchinson Ireland-based Denise McAuliffe Hutchinson has an MFA from NCAD. She practices a lyrical and autonomous style of painting, influenced by the phenomenon of perception. Her energetic processes are intensely physical and this is reflected in her work. Denise is preparing for shows in Ireland, the UK, the USA and India. denisehutchinsonblog.wordpress.com
Elliott Kaufman This piece is from the Street Dance series by Elliott Kaufman. It pulsates with the constant movement of the modern urban environment, broken down into sequential compositions. There is a staccato rhythm as the images strive to capture the dance that occurs when spaces are fractured and the participants are allowed free rein.
Image: Mixed media, 2016.
Image: Think to Hope. 43.18in x 41.27in.
Cynli Sugita Tokyo-based Cynli Sugita is a digital artist who expresses personal internal images. Her 1,000-day project Mui Vision involves the creation of one image per day. The series is published on her Mui Vision blog. Taking inspiration from nature, she seeks ways to reflect natural consciousness within each piece. Works from the series are available as archival quality prints. www.cynlisugita.com
Emma Lee Cracknell Sensual ambiguity, desire and the deprivation of visual information form constant themes running throughout Emma Lee Cracknell’s practice. As a painter, she uses the physicality of the medium as a form of communication. Cracknell exhibits frequently in London and Norwich. www.emmaleecracknell.co.uk Twitter: @ELC_Art
To be included in the Artists’ Directory contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or email@example.com.
Eric Wiles Northern Californian artist Eric Wiles combines fine art and landscape photography in order to reveal the dynamic beauty of both man-made objects and the world around us. His contemporary approach has propelled his work to exhibit at the Musée du Louvre, as well as being shown in various mainstream fashion and design magazines. www.ew-photo.com
Gill Bustamante Gill Bustamante is a Sussex, UK-based artist who paints large landscape and seascape paintings using oil on canvas. She is inspired by the patterns and movements of nature and animals, and has developed a style that combines traditional techniques with more abstract and contemporary methods.
Helen Closs The element of surprise is the driving factor in the work of Helen Closs. She blends and moves thick areas of paint to create pieces that express emotion and a tangible narrative. When painting, she is wondering what the composition will show her. She spends time with them to uncover their meaning.
Iain Gardiner Internationally-acclaimed artist Iain Gardinerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contemporary paintings are created using miniaturist principles and techniques with meticulous attention to detail. He says that his large oil series should be viewed not only from a distance but also at close range to appreciate the complexity of the work. www.behance.net/iaingardiner www.facebook.com/iain.gardiner.39
Jason Clarke Jason Clarke has bipolar disorder and uses art therapy to help manage his illness. It allows him to empty his head of the dark thoughts and visions that cause him so much pain. Jason draws every day, creating powerful and detailed pictures that give a glimpse into a troubled mind.
Image: Beautiful Wild Horse, mixed media: ink, watercolour.
Irena Orlov Irena Orlov is a fine artist, illustrator and photographer, known for creating works that are full of energy. She is an artist whose path in the fine arts has led her to a unique expression of mood and colour. Her images begin spontaneously and give expression to personal creativity and insight. www.irenaorlov.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Davis Jean Davis explores the balance between transience, stability and intention in her painting. She uses gestures taken in isolation from her subjectsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; movements to remove context from the narrative and to allow elements of her subconscious to guide the finished work. www.jeanzart.com
Jeff Cain Jeff Cain is a London-based wildlife artist specialising in detailed paintings of wolverines (Gulo gulo). He has had many encounters with wolverines living in the wild and brings his passion and admiration for this iconic animal to each of his paintings. Previous paintings were completed with gouache but Cain now uses acrylics. www.wolverineartwork.com email@example.com
Jenny Bennett Whangarei, New Zealand-based Jenny Bennett graduated with an MA in anthropology from Otago and Auckland universities. Having shown works in London, Italy and the USA, she is currently preparing a new series exploring flora, new colours and abstraction for the London Biennale in 2017. www.jennybennett.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeonghan Yun Born in 1981 in Seoul, Jeonghan Yun now lives and works in Cologne. Light, time and space are the leading themes in all of his series. The pieces shown here are called Photograph Drawings and show visual fragments of a new world, based upon recognition, assumption, imagination and memories.
Joao Fego Joao Fego is a Oporto-based artist. He reflects on facial and bodily expressions as a way of conveying emotion, as well as childhood and ephemeral moments. Influenced by formal education in architecture, Fego makes use of shadows as evidence of the presence of light. www.joaofego.com Instagram: @joaofego email@example.com
José Galant José Galant’s multifaceted and surreal artworks range from steampunk to art nouveau fantasy. The project on which he is currently working, Imaginary Destinations is a personal metaphor of 3D and virtual worlds. Galant has exhibited around the world, and has been featured in several international art magazines.
Judith Cordeaux Judith Cordeaux’s vibrant paintings reflect her love of colour. Her recent works are inspired by “the directness of children’s art to remind us all that life can be beautiful and that freedom is possible, especially that of the mind.” Cordeaux’s paintings will feature in Moments of Truth at Onishi Gallery, New York, 10-23 December 2016. www.cordeaux.nz firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Filipchuk In the works of Julia Filipchuk there is a striving for a symbiosis of realistic and abstract art. Each picture from the German-based artist is a carefully told story, between graphics and painting, with a focus on the visual and sensual impact of colour upon the viewer’s perception and experience.
Julijana Ravbar Having been purchased and displayed around the world, Julijana Ravbar is best known for paintings with modern textures and abstracted forms. She says: “I see art as an expression of feelings but more importantly as a domain for freedom.” www.artfinder.com/julijana-ravbar Instagram: @julijana_ravbar_art www.art-ravbar.eu
Keith Higgins Keith Higgins lives in Los Angeles and mostly paints using oil on canvas. His current series consists of ten paintings from around Tokyo. The featured piece, Tokyo Alley, is 30in x 24in oil on canvas and is meant to capture Shibuya’s mysterious side streets. www.keithhigginsart.com email@example.com
To be included in the Artists’ Directory contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: You Raise Me Up, 2016. Acrylic painting, 120cm x 100cm.
Lilian Nejatpour Lilian Nejatpour’s practice questions technological invasiveness and sentimentality. She considers how these two very distinct modes operate alongside each other when they are re-situated in romantic conversation. In particular, how digital forms evolve as anthropological mannerisms, and become naturalised as anxious etiquettes of the human body. www.lilian-nejatpour.com
Mary Lonergan Mary Lonergan is a Californian artist, based in Oakland, who uses vibrant colour and movement to design an essential exchange between the art and the viewer. She has participated in international exhibits in Florence, London and Paris. She also shows locally in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Image: Double Happiness Penises. Acrylic paint and oil pastel on canvas, 30in x 20in.
Malcolm Gillespie Malcolm Gillespie has a deep interest in the natural world, from the human body to the minute detail of a flower, turning these images into imaginative paintings.
Max Lawrence White Max Lawrence White is an Australia-based painter. His practice centres on colour and its tendency to be inexhaustible in terms of its combinations, readings and meanings. He presents an unconventional experience and challenges how the viewer perceives colour.
Melissa Miroslavich With a focus on fashion photography, Melissa Miroslavich loves to create compositions that present femininity in all of its facets. She says her approach is achieved through “preparation, planning and letting things go”. In her work she strives to savour transient moments of clarity. www.miroslavichstudio.com
Michael Boroniec USA-based Michael Boroniec is a sculptor and designer working primarily in ceramic material. The piece shown here is from his Spatial Spirals series.
Image: Violet, 2016. Oil painting on wood panel, 10in x 8in.
Qing Song Qing Song is a USA-based Chinese painter, working primarily in oil and watercolour. She has always been deeply obsessed by the subtlety of humanity, and believes that the experience of closely observing real people is always meaningful, always fresh and always worth portraying. www.qingsong-arts.com
Image: Keep Going, 2016.
Peter Bradley Cohen Exploring the tension and balance between geometric rigidity and organic fluidity, Peter Bradley Cohen plays with perceptions and visual weightlessness. Many of his processes involve improvisation, giving his work a sense that is has been found. He also takes cues from cultural and spiritual symbols and objects. www.peterbradleycohen.com Instagram: @pbradcohen
www.mboroniec.com Instagram: @mboroniec
Stylist: Mara Brown. MUA & Hair: Laura Westrem. Producer: Amy Kalbrener.
Rebecca Guez London-based painter Rebecca Guez examines the physical actions of absorption and affective gesture. Concerned with experimental processes, Guez explores ideas of sensuality, physicality and connotations of scale. www.rebeccaguez.co.uk
Sarah Anne Smith Sarah Anne Smith is an emerging artist based in South Yorkshire, UK. Influenced by the potential and variety found in materials, nature, places and objects – from the historic to the everyday – she forms links into broader ideas based on identity, transformations and human experience for her sculptural-based artwork.
Image: The Wedge, 2015.
Reginald Van de Velde Reginald Van de Velde investigates the unknown and the unseen. As a wanderer of wastelands, he travels around the world, trying to capture moments of splendour undisturbed by the turmoil and temptations of modern society. He is: “A vagabond for lost beauty, a chronicler of forgotten magnificence.”
Tânia Marques Reis Artist and designer Tânia Marques Reis has embarked on a new series of photography work. Under the name PolaroidChick, she aims to capture the creative balance between Europe and the USA. She uses no post-production effects while pursuing different perspectives of the world through Polaroid photography. www.polaroidchick.com Instagram: @polaroidchick
Image: Dancing with Sunshine. Oil on canvas, 92cm x 122cm.
ULLA ULLA is a Danish-born, Londonbased painter. Subjects range from romantic female forms to abstract “dreamscapes”. Her approach is to use bold brush strokes, from strong, bright colours to subtly layered pastels which she believes reflect aspects of her personality: sunny, passionate and soulful. Her work can be found in public and private collections worldwide. www.ulla-art.com
Thomas W Kuppler Thomas W Kuppler’s process of methodological experimentation and constant questioning of the media is driven by the need to both deconstruct the representational character of a photograph and to expand the conventional limits of form, providing a dichotomy between the visible and the invisible.
Una d’Aragona Landscape acts as metaphor for exposing hidden territories of the psyche in the works of Una d’Aragona. Photographs, drawing and Photoshop map out the outline and layers of the image, whilst working with the materiality of paint allows freedom for the unconscious to add unexpected twists that deepen a sense of mystery. www.unadaragona.com re-title.com/artists/una-daragona.asp
Vian Shamounki Borchert Vian Shamounki Borchert is an internationally acclaimed artist and educator whose expressionistic paintings will be exhibiting at Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 at Spectrum Miami. She has been showcased in galleries and private collections around the world, including Washington, D.C., New York, Manchester, Dubai and Amman. www.vianborchert.com
To be included in the Artists’ Directory contact Katherine Smira on (0044) (0)844 568 2001 or email@example.com.
Image: Silver Bow Creek, 2016. Oil on canvas, 120cm x 100cm.
Willy van den Berg Inspired by nature, memories and personal stories, Willy van den Berg’s paintings refer to deeper layers of meaning, creating a timeless and tranquil world where figures try to find their way. In diffused light, her subjects remain shrouded in shadows. www.willyvandenberg.nl
Julio Le Parc, Continuel-lumière cylindre (Continuous Light Cylinder),1962/2013. Painted wood, stainless steel, motor, metal disk, and light. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Everton Ballardin, © Galeria Nara Roesler.
Julio Le Parc Artist
One could say that the true Latin American spirit lies in authentic creativity, accompanied by an attitude that is in keeping. This mentality produced in artworks parallels the collective minds of the population, who continue to invent new ways of fighting against repression so as to destroy their oppressors and create new ways of coexisting. It is this innovative state of mind, evoked by art, that will help us, in one way or another, to survive or live; help break down mental constraints; eliminate ideological conditioning, passivity, submissiveness, and fear; and allow us to feel the future will be different. Julio Le Parc: Form into Action explores the artist’s role in the 20th century as an advocate and point of reference for social and political change. Until 19 March at Pérez Art Museum, Miami. www.pamm.org.