BRIDGE Volume 1, Issue 3. March 2015 Art, Architecture + Design
INTERVIEW: GUM COLLECTIVE TRINITY ARTS FESTIVAL: 24 EXHIBITION REVIEWS: GARRETT PHELAN + PAUL SEAWRIGHT LONDON’S PUBLIC SPACES + MORE
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PAUL SEAWRIGHT ‘UNTITLED (BLUE WALL) 2015 (DETAIL)
10 11 4 What’s on 6 Editor’s picks 8 Interview: GUM collective 10 Review: A Voodoo Free Phenomenon 11 Review: The List 12 Mela Koehler 13 Hiroyuki Ito 14 Dulwich Fakes Exhibition 16 London’s Public Spaces 18 Duncan Campbell 20 Arne Jacobsen 22 Trinity Arts Festival: 24
STAFF: CLARA MURRAY (EDITOR) HAZEL SHAW (CONTEMPORARY EDITOR) RONAN CAREY (ARCHITECTURE EDITOR) JENNIFFER DUFFY (HISTORICAL EDITOR) ERICA GURNEE (DUBLIN EDITOR) SERGEY ALIFANOV (PHOTO EDITOR) IMOGEN FITZGERALD (WEB EDITOR) OLEN BAJARIAS AND TRUDY KILGORE (COPY EDITORS) GRACE NUTALL (PUBLICITY)
DESIGN: CLARA MURRAY AND GRACE NUTTALL COVER IMAGE: ‘TWINS’, SADBH O’BRIEN (GUM, P. 8) THANK YOU: GREHAN PRINTERS. TRINITY VISUAL ARTS SOCIETY. TRINITY PUBLICATIONS THIS PUBLICATION WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY GRANTS FROM THE TRINITY COLLEGE PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE AND THE IRISH ART RESEARCH CENTRE (TRIARC).
W H AT ’S ON I N DU BL I N
MATCHBOX LABEL, LATE 20TH C, INDIA
Listings for March + April 2015 Compiled by Elizabeth Rochford
Indian Matchbox Labels Early Indian matchbox labels depicted images of Hindu deities and stories. With time they came to include the banal and the exotic, leading to the huge collectors interest in the labels and their varied, fascinating meanings. Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College 6 March - 13 May 2015
Gerda Frömel The first contemporary retrospective exhibition of Czechoslovakian-born artist Gerda Frömel, it seeks to reveal new work and reinstate Frömel’s once great status. IMMA, Royal Hospital Kilmainham 9 April - 5 July 2015 Seven Treasures: Japanese Cloisonné Enamels from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London The art of cloisonné enamelling became one of Japan’s most successful forms of manufacture after its renaissance around 1840. This exhibition of over 100 objects, combining a gift of superb Japanese enamels from Edwin Davies CBE with the V&A’s historical collection, presents a rounded picture of one of Japan’s most exquisite art forms. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle 14 March – 14 June 2015
Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler: Sound Speed Marker Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler have been working collaboratively in video, photography and sculpture since 1990. Their work invites suggestive, open-ended reflections on memory, place and cinema. IMMA, Royal Hospital Kilmainham 5 December - 3 March 2015
able nature. This exhibition promises to be, as ever, bold and gripping. A new publication with a text by Sara Baume will accompany the exhibition. Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College 6 March - 13 May 2015 TROVE IMMA has invited internationally renowned Irish artist Dorothy Cross to select an exhibition of work from the Collections of IMMA, the Crawford Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland. This exhibition will showcase the extraordinary depth of the National Collections in one unique and very subjective presentation. IMMA, Royal Hospital Kilmainham 3 December - 8 March 2015
Unfolding the Archive by Floating World Unfolding the Archive, an exhibition of new work by the international artists’ group Floating World, takes its title from the tangible starting point for engagement with an archive – the simple act of unfolding – and the practice of appraisal, valuation and interpretation that is inherent in this process. NCAD Gallery, Thomas St 26 March - 2 April 2015
RHA New Acquisitions This show, held in the Dr. Tony Ryan Gallery will comprise of Members’ work as part of the oldest artistic collective in Ireland. The show will include work by
Rose Wylie Rose Wylie’s large, idiosyncratic paintings are known for their unpredict4
Eilis O’Connell RHA, Dr. Imogen Stuart RHA, the late Conor Fallon RHA, Una Sealy ARHA, Blaise Smith ARHA, Maeve McCarthy RHA, Rachel Joynt RHA, Martin Gale RHA and others. Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Ely Place 16 January - 5 April 2015 Michael Cullen Micheal Cullen RHA studied painting at the National College of Art in Dublin and life drawing at the Central College of Art and Design in London. He follows the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s belief that ‘the rationalist cannot dance’. This exhibition is of work spread over a number of years. Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Ely Place 16 January - 26 April 2015 Joe Dunne This exhibition of works by Joe Dunne RHA represents aspects of his on-going engagement with the tradition and history of painting. A selection of
Nick Miller: Vessels: Nature Morte
LEFT: RHUBARB, 2014 RIGHT: PRIMROSES, 2014
still life and interior-based works will offer an insight into the particular approaches involved. Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Ely Place 13 March - 26 April 2015 The Untold Want Examining notions of immensity, nature, mortality and freedom, this exhibition will include work by Irish and international artists such as: Agnes Martin, Robert Gober, William McKeown, Vivienne Dick, Vija Celmins, Mary McIntyre, Félix GonzálezTorres, Andrew Vickery, Ana Mendieta, and Dorothy Cross, amongst others. Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Ely Place 13 March - 26 April 2015 A Breathcrystal A Breathcrystal is concerned with contamination. The gallery will become a space for cross-pollination, symbiosis and infestation, uncovering intriguing connections and contradictions between a group of international artists and their
Between painting people and landscape, Nick Miller brings elements of the natural world into his studio to try and hold them in paint in arrangements that resonate. The cycle of life pervades much of his work, reflective of the time he spent at North West Hospice visiting the sick and using them as subjects. Later his terminally ill mother became the subject. Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Ely Place 16 January - 26 April 2015
artworks. The exhibition will include works by JeanLuc Moulène, Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan, Aiekaterini Antouraki, Miklos Onucsan, Tom Nicholson, Phillip Warnell, Jonas Staal, Fabio Mauri, Jacqueline Mesmaeker and Lawrence Abu Hamdan. Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar 24 April - 30 May 2015 A Voodoo Free Phenomenon In a newly commissioned solo exhibition for Project Arts Centre, Garrett Phelan explores the power and influence that cultural traditions and artefacts have on the contemporary psyche. Through the recollection of his experience of witnessing the winter solstice at Newgrange, and numerous visits to ancient sites throughout his life and travels, he questions the power such antiquated relics hold over us today. Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar [reviewed p. 8] 30 January - 9 April 2015
Geraldine O’Reilly Hynes Solo Show This exhibition will host Geraldine O’Reilly Hynes’s vivid acryllic paintings and drawings of country landscapes in her attempt to convey an experience of the intimacy of ‘being there’. The Doorway Gallery, 24 Frederick St South, Dublin 2 5 March - 26 March 2015 Kate Beagan Solo Show ‘I Came Upon a Place’ is Kate Beagan’s new series of paintings inspired by the small winding roads of her Co. Monaghan surroundings. The Doorway Gallery, 24 Frederick St South, Dublin 2 9 April - 30 April 2015 The List by Paul Seawright In his new work The List, Paul Seawright uncovers a contested landscape that continues his interest in city spaces and their relationship to invisible fractures in society. The Kerlin Gallery, Anne’s Lane, Dublin 2 30 January - 21 March 2015
RIGHT: SOPHIE KAHN ‘LAURA RGB’ (2011) BELOW: DANIEL WIDRIG ‘SUPERNATURAL’ (2013)
ED I TOR ’ S PI CK S
Over the last number of years 3D printing has entered the public consciousness due to its incredible applications in science and medicine. As the technology continues to develop more artists are beginning to experiment with it as a new artistic medium. This revolutionary technology has allowed artists to create works that would not been possible to create through any other media and challenges our ideas of art. Joshua Harker: Often considered the trailblazer for using the new technology in an artistic setting. Harker began working with 3D printers in a commercial setting in the early 90s. At this stage the printers were not technologically advanced enough to consider using it for
Per Kirkeby: Kirkeby is one of the most acclaimed Danish artists today. He is not only a painter, but also a filmmaker, sculptor, and writer to name just a few. His large-scale paintings are reminiscent of landscapes, but Kirkeby’s work fights easy categorization.
artistic purposes. It was not until the early 2000’s that he started to produce 3D printed sculptures. In 2011 he printed his most famous sculpture to date. Called Crannia Anatomica Filigre, it is the most well funded project ever on Kickstarter. Sophie Kahn: New York-based artist Kahn combines 3D printing with more traditional techniques such as bronze casting to create evocative sculptures that resemble fragmented monuments from antiquity. They engage questions of time, history, vision, identity and the body. Daniel Widrig: Coming from an architectural background Widrig now exhibits his artworks internationally. His works have a geometrical feel to them and
Gunnel Wåhlstrand: Wåhlstrand is a Swedish photo-realist painter, who is astonishingly talented. Her works are based on photographs taken before she was born, from her father’s life. Her father committed suicide when she was one year old. This has sparked a life long interest in him and his past, reflected in her work.
Five 3D print artists
he has even dabbled in 3D printed clothes. Stephanie Lempert: Texas born Lempert is inspired by language and the communication between art and the viewer. She works in many different media, one of which is 3D printing. In a 2012 she created IMOGEN a series of 3D printed Mythical FITZGERALD Creatures. The horned skull is made up of words taken from texts about the devil. Maya Ben David: Israeli-born artist, David uses her work to challenge the natural, the artificial and what lies in between. Her ongoing project called My Digital Garden brings the tradition of still life in to the 21st century by scanning living flowers and turning them in to 3D sculptures.
Five Contemporary Scandinavian Artists ERICA GURNEE IMAGE: PER KIRKEBY ‘FLIGHT INTO EGYPT’ (1996)
JEAN SHIN ‘SOUNDWAVE’ (2007)
Five Contemporary Sculptors HAZEL SHAW
Jason de Caires Taylor: This English artist creates magnificent sculptures deep beneath the sea. His ephemeral underwater creations will eventually be assimilated into the ocean, becoming living, breathing coral reefs. His latest sculpture, Ocean Atlas, lies off the coast of the Bahamas and is the largest single underwater sculpture in the world at 5 metres high and weighing over 60 tons. Jean Shin: Born in Soeul, Korea, and raised in the United States, Jean Shin creates sculptural installations using large amounts of everyday objects including umbrellas,
and pop culture icons feature prominently throughout his work. David Mach: David Mach is a Scottish artist who believes that all art forms are sculptural, working with recycled magazines and everyday objects to create large-scale conceptual and figurative artworks. Mach’s signature material is wire coat-hangers, but his sculpture also incorporates matchsticks, scrabble pieces, dominoes, car tyres, and fiberglass. Mach’s Precious Light was recently featured at Galway Arts Festival, using Biblical imagery to express issues in contemporary culture.
lottery tickets, empty wine bottles, and discarded clothing. Shin is interested in “giving new form to life’s leftovers,” transforming discarded, mass-produced objects into hand crafted objects that create dialogues with communities and the spaces they inhabit. Nathan Sawaya: Based in New York, Nathan Sawaya creates surrealist 3-D sculptures from LEGO bricks. His solo exhibition The Art of the Brick has toured North America, Asia, and Australia, engaging the child in all of us through his nostalgic and whimsical medium. Figures, landmarks,
Charlotte Walentin: Walentin is a Swedish artist. She established herself through her elaborate and complex drawings, and is now particularly famous for her works based on thin nylon cords dipped in paint. Her creations are textural and engage all ones senses, by either mimicking paintings or bursting into sculptural space.
Christer Karlstad: Karlstad is a Norwegian figurative painter. He creates works in which normality is challenged, replaced by something ‘unknown’. His paintings encourage questions; whether good or evil is being depicted, whether a figure is dead or alive. These works promote a visual world of mystery and unease.
Nicholas Jones: Australian sculptor Nicholas Jones carves and folds books he finds discarded or buys secondhand in markets to create three dimensional works of art. These works conceptualise the significance of the book and our relationship with not only the text but the object itself. The value of book as a nostalgic object with a palpable sense of history is key to Jones. Responding to new technologies in reading and the supposed death of the book, this artist revives the relevance of the book as a means for artistic expression.
Merete Barker: Barker is one of Denmark’s most prominent artists. Most famous for her expressionistic paintings and sculptures based on her extensive journeys abroad, her works reflect on both nature and culture, considering mankind’s role within each.
Garrett Phelan: A Voodoo Free Phenomenon Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar 30 January - 9 April 2015 LUKE FITZHERBERT
Entering Garrett Phelan’s exhibition, you realise it to be an all-encompassing visual and atmospheric transposition of Phelan’s ‘marred’ experience at Newgrange into the gallery. It centres on his experience of seeing the winter solstice at Newgrange back in 1986. The centrepiece two-part video on the main screen begins with a slow moving, 15-minute silent shot, of bronze mass. It creeps under and around the untouched, fossilized relics of antiquity, gleaming and unrefined against a dark blank backdrop, giving a sense of the isolation of the ancient, the teological rupture that blocks comprehension and stirs our wonder. Moving on to Phelan himself recounting on-screen his story of going to Newgrange: again there is an extreme luminous contrast. His face lit up and green, darkness all behind, there is a physical reluctance in his eyes to look straight at the viewer, suggesting a strain on our faculties in considering ancient artefacts and talking about alien concepts with only sight to go on. This is complimented by reflection. Dark glass giving of a deep, bottomless depth to its backdrop on which Phelan’s microphones lie, wired and plugged into raw, unrefined chunks of bronze mass. It defies technology and
cultural antiquity at the same time. With these is a gilded vintage radio hoisted up high with another microphone wired to it. In the other corner there is a smaller video projection. This seems to be questioning one’s ability to consider concepts in a detached, isolated and disconnected way. ‘Free from…’ reads a 3D, shaking box, with various universal themes such as culture, controversy, institutions, politics, history, future fleeting around its corner, that jolts the more each time, suggesting an inability to face up to the questions it’s trying to consider. Minimal in tone, but evocative by its consideration of two different extremes - the ancient and the happening - the sculptural centre piece of the microphone visually sums up well the dilemma that Phelan is getting at. The use of human sentiment in the form of guilt to his mother is an interesting tool used to emphasize a base alienation between his normal disposition and how overwhelmingly indifferent sensation can be towards it in that moment when overpowered. Thought -provoking and humbling at the same time, asking questions that can’t be answered, I found the visuals of the exhibition and undemanding attention it demanded made it enjoyable to indulge in abstract wonder all the same.
ABOVE LEFT: A VOODOO FREE PHENOMENON, EXHIBITION VIEW, PROJECT ARTS CENTRE ABOVE RIGHT: GARRETT PHELAN, ANIMATION, 2015 FAR RIGHT: PAUL SEAWRIGHT, ‘UNTITLED (FENCE) , 2015 RIGHT: PAUL SEAWRIGHT, ‘BINDINGS’ 2015
Paul Seawright: The List The Kerlin Gallery, Anne’s Lane, Dublin 2 30 January - 21 March 2015 ELIZABETH ROCHFORD
The Kerlin Gallery’s current exhibition of Irish photographer Paul Seawright’s most recent work is an aesthetically riveting narrative of a story untold. The List is his third American project and a stunning portrait of America’s desolate Rust Belt, a once booming industrial area running from New York to Michigan. Seawright’s work, showcased in the likes of IMMA, Tate London and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, is known for its depictions of city spaces: Belfast’s gritty architecture, Tallaght’s outskirts, Paris’s edges, Africa’s cities and Afghanistan’s dusty expanse. Defined as a chronicler of ‘malevolent landscapes’, his most recent work reveals a derelict landscape fractured by an invisible society. Dominated by squares and blocks, The List focus on signs of a lost civilisation - boarded windows and doors, old air-conditioners and cracked roads. Though we cannot see those who live there, their influences last through what remains. But something else lives and dies there. The lines and squares of habitation are splintered with the cracks through which trees and grass now stretch. Alternating between colour and black and white, Seawright reveals the life and death of both wildlife and of society. The vivacity of the old and the new life create an incredibly moving duality.
It is striking that Seawright’s pigment ink prints have a sort of painterly quality, their colours and lines being almost palpable. The texture that appears to erupt from the photographs breathes life into the banal, shining a new light on the neglected neighbourhoods. Yet a pervasive sadness lingers, dispelling the promise of new life through the cyclical nature of the seasons. Dead flowers hang, propped only by a line, a red house is over-shadowed by dead branches, whilst seemingly lost tree takes foreground over a blue wall. The birds and cats appear to be the only ones left. The windows are boarded up, steps lead nowhere, a blue wall is marked unfinished. Yet not all the grass is dead. There may still be the capacity for renewal. The cracked pavements, shielded cars and closed doors may be uninviting, yet they ask questions. They make us wonder about those who once were present, who have fallen through the fault lines of the stringently derelict landscape. Humanity pervades The List. It characterises this abandoned concrete stretch of middle America. The veneer of the American dream is paredback, reduced to a wintry, dysfunctional landscape in which no man is found yet every man exists.
“Paul Seawright breathes life into the banal, shining a new light on neglected neighbourhoods”
STUCK ON YOU
AS PART OF OUR SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH EMERGING IRISH ARTISTS, CLARA MURRAY SPOKE TO GUM, A COLLECTIVE OF 13 FINAL YEAR PRINTMAKING STUDENTS AT NCAD. How did the idea for GUM come about? Upon completing a year of working together as a class we realised our group dynamic was incredibly strong and fluid. It seemed natural to form a collective when we began to think about our future. Initially GUM was formed as a kind of experiment, driven by the thought of venturing out into the professional art world. Taking the first steps into the art scene is a daunting prospect and most of us had little experience with corresponding with galleries and promoting ourselves. Taking these steps as a group gave us the confidence and proved to be far more effective. Is there a story behind the name? Yes, Gum Arabic is a very pungent liquid used in the lithographic printing process. We thought it was funny because our studio at the time was very chaotic and we would joke that the studio would sometimes smell as bad. Also, In Singlish (Singapore Slang), gum means to stick or fit together, at least according to Clare, our Singaporean member. What do you think are the advantages of being in a collective? Any disadvantages? There are many benefits to being in a collective; this is really evident in a collective like GUM. We were lucky that we had time to develop, becoming comfortable together in an open and relaxed environment. This allowed for productive discourse and honest critique to happen between us. There is also a wealth of skills and techniques you can learn from each other.
This allowed our work to move beyond the parameters of our own skill sets. We work well together due to the contrast and energy that is produced in our interaction which each other. This support is a definite advantage for each member. Each member works hard at propelling the collective forward. We share out the work evenly in every big task we take on as a group. Each member does their part according to their strengths. Be it something as simple as communication skills, organisational skills or editing skills, it’s not something each individual could provide on their own. With large numbers we are faced with some recurring problems, there is the difficulty of organising scheduled meetings that every member can attend, which makes it difficult to make unanimous decisions concerning upcoming plans. With large numbers at meetings it also tends to become a bit chaotic. This issue is eased by the fact that we very rarely strongly disagree on anything. The group is incredibly diplomatic and we have a great respect for one another. This means that there is rarely serious disputes, if any. We only ever really fight about Kanye West… Alex vs everybody else. Alex is pro Kanye. What would you say unites your artistic styles/practices? From the beginning we were shown printmaking as a ‘community’ practice, a space where thoughts , ideas, methods, processes and advice was shared. This attitude helped to bind us together. We encourage and challenge each other and influence and learn from each other.
We work in a range of different mediums such as sculpture and modelling, film and performance alongside printmaking, which allows us to produce more interactive and diverse shows. Many of us deal with similar themes and concepts but each member responds in a different way, each with their own individual style. How have you found your experience at NCAD? Overall we’ve had a very positive experience individually and as a group. NCAD is a vibrant and creative space. Like any course it’s nice to be surrounded by likeminded people. As a small college there’s a very personal and friendly atmosphere. There are always student exhibitions on which is encouraging. However, we were incredibly lucky to end up in the same class and to get on so well with one another. Do you plan to continue working together even after graduation? If not, do you have any other plans for the future? Yes, there are definite plans for the future of GUM collective. We hope to create a space and similar environment in which we can continue to work together. We are an ambitious group and hopefully you’ll see a lot more of us in the coming years. Individually, everyone has their
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: WORK IN PROGRESS, STEPHEN LAU; ‘OCULUS’, CLARE MARIE; ‘DUSK’, AARON SMYTH; ‘DOWN’, LUKE O’MEARA; NOTEBOOK PAGE, SOFYA MIKHAYLOVA
own aspirations outside of the collective. However, all learnt experience will in turn benefit the collective. I noticed that despite all being students of Fine Art Print, your collective exhibitions have featured a much broader range of media than just print. Is this something that was encouraged in your course, or did GUM provide an outlet for more varied experimentation? It was definitely encouraged within the course. In the first year as a print class, we focused on learning the necessary print skill of intaglio, screenprinting and lithography. We were then encouraged to use these skills along with our intuition, to develop our themes and concepts in the way that we deemed most appropriate. You have put out two zines over the past year – is this something you intend to continue with? What do you see as the advantages of the medium over, for example, online distribution of your work?
It is a process we all enjoy. Being print makers, we all enjoy drawing and image making. The zines are a more accessible and personal way of distributing our images. People love to collect imagery and zines, it’s a way of taking ownership of an artwork without the expense. It is important that our work is viewed in printed form as that is how it is designed to be viewed. Online distribution has its benefits: people can keep up to date with our work in a quick and easy way, however sometimes depth and detail of the printed matter can be lost on the screen, as can intimacy of experience. Do you have any upcoming projects or shows that you’re working on? Our degree show! The next step for all of us, individually, is to complete our degree show, which is on from the 12th until the 21st June 2015 in NCAD. We will all be exhibiting as individuals which is exciting. After that, we will start working on making GUM a reality outside of our college studios..
Postcards from Vienna
JENNIFER DUFFY ON MELA KOEHLER’S FASHION POSTCARDS The Wiener Werkstätte was founded in Vienna in 1903 by architect Josef Hoffman and artist Koloman Moser. An association of design workshops, it is comparable to the British Arts and Crafts movement led by William Morris. The Wiener Werkstätte prioritised the aesthetic experience and handmade objects. They sought to bring great design into everyday life, producing textiles, metalwork, glasswork, jewellery, ceramics, books, furniture and postcards. Mela Koehler (1885-1960) was one of a number of artists producing illustrations for these postcards. Koehler studied in the School of Applied Arts in Vienna, before becoming involved with the Wiener Werkstätte and the Wiener Frauenkurst, an association for female artists and craftswomen. Her postcards fall into two broad categories – those celebrating holidays (such as Easter, the New Year and Christmas) and fashion postcards, which depict the popular styles and patterns of the day. The vibrant patterns Koehler uses both in the costumes and the backgrounds of her postcards are very much of the Wiener Werkstätte style. In particular, these postcards can be seen to relate to debates about women’s dress in Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. Mary L. Wagener has written about the move away from restrictive corsets, as women sought more practical and comfortable
clothes. However, in Vienna this had to be combined with their ‘international reputation for elegance and taste.’ Reform dress in Austria was popular for its new stylistic possibilities; rather than its advantages for women’s health as in the rational dress movement in Britain. Reform dress was slow to impact on everyday wear in Austria, with the exception of sportswear. Koehler designed a number of postcards showing women dressed for sports such as sledding, tennis, croquet and golf. The costumes she designed allowed women to be active, whilst remaining elegant. Designers also looked back to the Biedermeier period, particularly the dresses designed for the Viennese waltz, as ease of movement was important in the new reform dress style. Koehler created a series of postcards of dancing couples which reflect this influence. Many members of the Wiener Werkstätte, including Koehler and Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), designed textiles and clothing. Koehler’s postcards show how these new garments could be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Her elaborate headdresses (including a postcard series on hats) encouraged experimentation with fashion. Koehler’s imaginative designs impacted on Austrian fashion, and formed a significant part of the visual culture of early twentieth century Vienna.
In the aftermath of the detonation of the Little Boy atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the fallout from the blast descended from the skies like black rain. The effect on those who would inhale this ash resulted in dire health defects. Consequentially, the surviving victims, referred to as Hibakusha, would find themselves shunned from the traumatised society, which attempted to escape this tragedy by isolating such people. However, one particular male, called Sugimatsura Nakamura found his case documented by a male known as Kikujiro Fukushima. The reason for this was that Nakamura simply asked a favour of him, which was to seek revenge by showing the world this plight. Hence, Fukushima picked up a camera as a weapon. One of Japan’s darkest periods left a profound impact on the freelance photographer known as Hiroyuki Ito, who, although openly apolitical in his work, took the aesthetic and emotional impact of these details, connecting them to his life as a Japanese male living in the United States. As a photo-essayist, Hiroshima and its cultural resonance have featured as underlying themes in his frank and often, frighteningly raw works that frequently explore coming to terms with death, anguish and isolation in an urban setting. Residing in New York, Ito seems to function with a camera as if this were simply an extension of his person. For him, it is an automatic instinct to capture life in so spontaneous a way that he often admits to not being fully aware of what it is he is photographing, until the action is complete. Subsequently, he can portray items as mundane as an overflowing bin with an immediate aesthetic appeal; whilst an image of his mother grieving over the body of his father might take several viewings before one fully grasp the significance of the scene. In a similar vein to Gerhard Richter’s depiction of the deceased Baader-Meinhof terrorist group members, viewers can marvel at a superficial composition endlessly, before uncovering an extraordinary story that renders a collection timelessly appealing. Seldom straying beyond extreme monochrome, Ito’s output is positively hyperreal in its end-result, relying upon the intense glare of sunlight that hits his camera with such violent intensity, as to render people, or normal objects into predominantly shadowed blurs akin to charcoal sketches, or total abstractions. This, he heightens furthermore by using grainy celluloid that often transcends a 21st Century city environment, moving
Hiroyuki Ito MICHAEL LANIGAN
closer to the works of Fukushima, or Eiichi Matsumoto in post-World War Two Japan. However, while his fixation on everyday life in New York has the neon light charm of Christopher Doyle, or a grittier, urban-based Neil Krug, it was an essay that charted his return to Tokyo for the funeral of his father, entitled ‘Red Rain’, which remains Ito’s most stunning study on turmoil, both personal and in the surrounding society. Having been away from the country for two decades, he returned to Japan as it was enduring recession and the painful effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Writing on his return, he described hitting the streets, saying “it was like watching a foreign movie. People seem to have accepted defeat. Walking alongside them felt like accompanying a funeral procession.” Yet whereas, such results of his experience can seem rife with social commentary, these findings are often serendipitous and realised as a concept in hindsight. By never laying claim to any prior
ALL: IMAGES OF NEW YORK BY HIROYUKI ITO
intentions in his search for images, Ito is an honest, unconventional chronicler of his own curious inner-world, hunting without an objective. As a result, by capturing his environment on an intensely personal level, without contextualising too much in terms of current events, his collections relate to a plethora of lives from different lands and eras.
MADE MADE MADE MADE
IN IN IN IN
CHINA CHINA CHINA CHINA
HAZEL SHAW ON DOUG FISHBONE’S EXPERIMENT AT THE DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY How closely do you really look at a painting when you visit the gallery? What is an original work of art? Would you know a replica if you saw one? These are the questions posed by Dulwich Picture Gallery’s latest exhibition, which opened this February and will run until July 2015. Utilising the gallery’s permanent collection, Made in China questions our perceptions of art by replacing one of over 270 masterpieces with a cheap replica. Conceptualised by contemporary artist Doug Fishbone in collaboration with chief curator Xavier Bray, the exhibition aims to test the viewer’s discerning eye and encourage a close engagement with the gallery’s collection. Doug Fishbone is perhaps best known for the mountain of 30,000 bananas that he placed in the centre of Trafalgar Square for less than 24 hours in October 2004. Assembled overnight and dismantled later that day to be given to the public, the work was accompanied by no explanation and variably seen as a commentary on capitalist greed, a celebration of natural form and colour, or simply a prosaic heap of fruit. This was the work of a satirist examining the variability of meaning, consumer culture, and mass media by inviting the viewer to question their environment, and Made in China follows similar agendas. With the desire to re-involve the public in art, Fishbone ordered online a replica of one of Dulwich’s masterpieces, paying only £80 (€105) for the piece to be made in Dafen village on the outskirts of Shenzhen city in China. This replica has now replaced the original artwork in its frame and has been hung amidst masterpieces by Poussin, Raphael, and Rubens to name but a few. Fishbone’s probing question is whether or not the public can tell the difference. Luckily for critics, the gallery asked publications
not to reveal our own conclusions, presumably in order to avoid ruining the concept for its visitors but also excusing us from making any misguided assertions. They probably heard the collective sigh of journalists’ relief in China. To the untrained eye, the replica is not immediately recognisable in the gallery setting, a disconcerting fact considering its cheaply manufactured nature. Produced in Dafen, otherwise known as the ‘oil painting village’, the replica is one of approximately 5 million reproductions made in the village each year. Beginning in the 1990s, artist and dealer Huang Jiang led a group of artists to set up studios in this area, making reproductions of paintings by artists whose work is out of copyright jurisdiction and can thus be replicated and sold for profit without legal repercussions.
The industry saw a steady increase in demand, and today the village is home to over 700 galleries and over 5000 working artists. The art of reproduction is a specialized skill, as artists at Dafen are trained at academies and compete in timed ‘facsimile matches’ in order to be chosen to work at the best studios in the village. To Dafen, reproduction is not forgery but an industry, with each artist working quickly to produce dozens of artworks per day. At the gates to the village stands a sculpted hand holding a paintbrush, a celebration of the hand of the artist which to a critical eye may seem ironic for a village whose speciality is replicated artworks. Not only examining the aesthetics of reproduction, ‘Made in China’ raises issues of intellectual property and art piracy, interrogating the importance of
ABOVE RIGHT: DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY ABOVE LEFT: SCULPTURE AT DAFEN, CHINA LEFT: DOUG FISHBOURNE, ‘30,000 BANANAS’
originality in art. Within the museum setting, the Dafen replica may be appreciated by unsuspecting viewers for its formal qualities before its identity is revealed in April. Here another question arises: can a case be made for the appreciation of a fake work of art? In 1937, Dutch artist Han van Meegeren created an original composition of The Supper at Emmaus whose style, colour, and pigments were carefully calculated to pass as the work of Johannes Vermeer. The painting’s formal qualities convinced critics who raved about this “hitherto unknown painting by a great master,” and marked the beginning of van Meegeren’s career as the most successful forger of the twentieth century. Since being exposed as a fraud in 1945, approximately twenty paintings have been established as forgeries by van Meegeren. However, there remains forgeries that have yet to be identified, raising Theodore Rousseau’s point that “we should all realise that we can only talk about the bad forgeries, the ones that have been detected; the good ones are still hanging on the walls.” The point being that, within the museum’s walls, an object is elevated to the status of art and will be perceived by the viewer as such whether
fraudulent or not. Once van Meegeren’s paintings were exposed to be forged, they lost the reverence that surrounded them and inevitably fell out of favour in the public eye. But does a painting lose its aesthetic value when established as a fake? How would you feel if a work of art you loved was revealed to be a forgery? The case of van Meegeren and other such art forgers demonstrates the influence a signature has on our perception of an artwork and its value. While Dulwich Picture Gallery is by no means advocating an admiration of forgery, Made in China not only asks the viewer to look more closely at its permanent collection, but to question the importance of authenticity in art. Doug Fishbone is particularly concerned with the way in which a museum environment affects our perceptions of an object, and wishes to encourage the public to actively engage with the paintings on display and appreciate their aesthetic qualities. The identity of the replica will be revealed on April 28, after which the gallery will invite comparison between masterpiece and fake, displaying it alongside the original until July 26.
Making Public Space BEN PRICE ON THE PLANNING DILEMMA FACING NEW ARCHITECTURE IN LONDON For many years, I have had the good fortune of living next to my local pub. In contrast to my mother’s fear that it will suddenly find itself on the ‘biker map’ whenever it changes hands, The Oxfordshire Yeoman is hardly the rowdiest of neighbours either. It is, as an enamoured American friend put it, ‘just real quaint’. Though this addition to the rustic charisma of Freeland is substantial, it is not overly important. Rather it is the function both the diminutive bar and expansive garden play as centre points for social gatherings that matters. In the last fifteen years (i.e. my own living memory) I have seen the pub host not only various fortieth, fiftieth and first birthdays, but also an array of village weddings, wakes and Christenings. More regular, weekly gatherings form a backbone in the ongoing narrative of ‘village life’. So then, if the Yeoman is the epicentre of such an idyllic pastiche of the English countryside, why don’t I drink there? The answer is relatively simple – I don’t know anyone who does. Like walking in late to a lecture, I assume even before I push the doors open that everyone will turn around and I will be caught, trousers-down, unable to give a reason for my intrusion. Making such a meal of this clearly inane act, is on my part, clearly absurd. Nonetheless, every Christmas holiday, I walk a mile to the next village to drink at a pub frequented by a friend. It’s over-lit and their beer selection is nothing to the Yeoman, but I go regardless. What does my spurious substitution of one comfortable drinking establishment for another far less comfortable one have to do with London’s financial
district then? In a recent article (‘The city that privatised itself to death’) published by the Guardian, Ian Martin considers the problems London faces as its planners swoon at the drawings for shiny new districts arranged to meet all modern financio-beaurocratic needs. In an apparent relapse into a Thatcherite gold-rush mentality in which no asset is safe from liquidation. Martin argues that we could very well be close to a future in which the air we breathe (I am slightly vicariously including you and I as Londoners here) could come with a corporate prefix. Shedding his Jurassic Park analogies, his point is relatively simple and salient: London stands to succumb for a second time to the “the greatest trick Thatcherism ever pulled”. If they go on unchecked, private companies will once again control the planning of the city by shrouding their own interests in philanthropic rhetoric. The recent rush of blood, sorry money, to the city’s financial district has elevated its prominence not only politically and economically but, most obviously, architecturally. New skyscrapers, constructed from steel, glass and shaky moral fibre, are not destined to fall down any time soon. London’s financial district, to all intents and purposes, is now London’s skyline. And below? If we believe Martin, London will continue privatising itself until all that it occupants have left is “anaesthetised public space” left devoid of anything onto which we can’t stick a logo. This ‘gentle apocalypse’, to pinch Roland Barthes’ phrase, is clearly a possibility. It is unlikely that the veracity of the
“How can citizens of London assert some kind of livelihood and individuality in streets dominated by mirrored glass?”
IMAGE: VIEW FROM TATE MODERN, CAILAN O’CONNELL
only financial district in Europe comparable to Wall Street’s is going to abate any time soon. That said, it’s even less likely that the allure of its bonuses, tax breaks, seven figure salaries and is going diminish all of a sudden either. However Martin’s solution – the public re-appropriation of all the “blobs on the Waterloo skyline – has about as much realism in the political arena as his image of a stegosaurus sleeping in Buckingham Palace does in the biological one. As with most great ideas (and I agree, it is a beautiful one) it will be subject to death by committee review; whatever spark it had will be snuffed and re-shaped into part of a flowchart drafted up in Westminster conference rooms. Ruling out a political movement en masse as a dream not coming true, the question becomes one of what can be
done to reach at least an equilibrium. How can citizens of London (once again, dubiously you and I) assert some kind of livelihood and individuality in streets dominated by mirrored glass? Well, before we begin the long waiting game of politics, I would like to propose that we learn from my inability to go to the Yeoman for a pint. As Martin mentions – including a certain amount of ‘public space’ within a new design has become fairly standard procedure for gaining planning permission in the capita. He picks the “shoulderpadded yuppie citadel” of Broadgate as exemplary and I would like to add the inclusion of a new public park under Richard Rogers’ Cheesegrater building as typical of this. The directing organisations in each case knew or know that this space is not really going to be public. The only people who will either know about it or use it will be their own employees on a sunny day. Even then, the confines of the nearest Pret a Manger might prove too appealing. Nevertheless, the spaces are or will be there. How it is used is one thing, but the architects in charge
in each case have at least done the service of including it. With their role over, the onus shifts onto the users and owners of the space which is, surprisingly, still the public (the hesitant ‘we’). It is actually the public who are in charge of making ‘public space’ from the raw materials of “just space”. We must, if we are to not succumb wholeheartedly to the dehumanising effects of private building, actually go out and use the spaces that these companies ‘so graciously’ include in their designs. We might know no one eating there, but it is imperative that we recognise this as an absurdity of our own self-awareness much like my mental block with my neighbouring pub. As a precedent and end note, I would like to suggest a place in London which can perhaps give some understanding of the necessity of people for space to become ‘public space’. Outside of the Tate Modern Gallery is a small square. From it, you can see St. Pauls, Millennium Bridge and, downriver, the towers of the city and the Shard. While this vista of buildings by Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Norman Foster, Lord Rogers, Renzo Piano and many more besides is staggering enough, I urge you to sit on one of the benches, open a beer and observe people moving about in this space. There are dancers, musicians, tourists, art lovers, runners, lovers, children, adults, bankers and conn men. This mix is the mess of London’s diverse population and it is the source of its vitality. Without them, these magnificent pieces of design would be unimportant. Here is a successful public space. There is no reason other than personal angst that this same diversity cannot replicate itself across all of the the city.
Duncan Campbell MICHAEL LANIGAN PROFILES IRISH VIDEO ARTIST DUNCAN CAMPBELL, WINNER OF THE 2014 TURNER PRIZE. CAMPBELL’S WINNING PIECE, ‘IT FOR OTHERS’, IS CURRENTLY ON SHOW AT IMMA.
LEFT: STILL FROM ‘IT FOR OTHERS’, 2013 BELOW: INSTALLATION VIEW
In a time when somebody decided that it might not only be a great idea to create a biopic for FIFA president Sepp Blatter, but that he be portrayed as a hero, then it is only appropriate that the video artist Duncan Campbell ought to be elevated furthermore into the public eye. Born in Swords, Dublin, before relocating to Northern Ireland, where he studied fine arts at the University of Ulster in 1996, Campbell has produced a body of work, which rightfully earned him the 2014 Turner Prize for his various deconstructions of historical depiction and the creation of icons. By fixing his attention upon the vitality of editing, misappropriation and revisionism in the telling of an alluring story, he has spent the best part of the past decade analysing the complexities of Western media and consumption, blurring the lines between documentary and art. From the outset of earning the Turner prize nomination for his video essay tetralogy, 2013’s It For Others, Campbell was almost a shoe-in for scooping up the controversial award. The work may not have functioned with an instantaneous appeal due to its density, delving into the commercialisation of African objects, Western consumerism and fetishes, and the creation of martyr symbols through mass production. However, what served to benefit the multitude of ideas that he forwarded within the work was its ubiquity in exhibits globally. Having made himself clear by stating that It For Others required repeated viewing, this promise was to prove accurate and hence, his emerging as the victor met with scarcely any scepticism. At the same time, It For Others is quite a significant departure from his previous works, several of which, are on display in the Irish Museum of Modern Art until the end of March. Previously, his attention focussed on individual figures of history and the processes by which Western media remould such personas in order to create a compelling narrative. Although he touched upon this concept in one of the ‘It for Others’ segments, surrounding
“Campbell is destined to work as an innovator, questioning where art stops and documentary begins”
Joe McCann, of the IRA, his most revered work in this regard is perhaps 2008’s Bernadette. Here Campbell used archival footage of the Northern Ireland MP Bernadette Devlin as the focal point in assessing how even apparently impartial historians slant and manipulate an angle in order to captivate the imagination of consumers. Superficially, he presented a straightforward history of the young woman’s ascent into politics, yet, by trying a near Kubrickian style of chopping out the glut of film reels on Devlin, the viewer must question the accuracy of her depiction, which almost veers into the Hollywood structure for biographies. On the opposite side, his 2011 film Arbeit, took on the life of German economist Hans Tietmeyer as the core subject matter, tearing down his reputation as a relatively unknown figure
of bureaucracy, in order to herald him as the sole pioneer in the nations journey from post-war trauma to its ‘economic miracle’ in the 1970’s. By reassessing his work as the hidden hero of economic realism, whose downfall stemmed from the failures and dishonesty of others, Tietmeyer becomes into an iconoclast of startling intellect. This, Campbell reinforced by focussing on one particular photograph of the economist smoking a cigarette, immersed in thought and which, by using it as the main image to advertise the IMMA exhibition, has effectively given Tietmeyer the recognition as a protagonist that the unknown narrator of the film desires him to be. Audiences of Campbell often split in their view on how to grasp his approach to art; hence, since picking up the award, many critics are essentially urging him to follow in the footsteps of Steve McQueen by taking his art to the cinema screen. This might be an indicator that many are unsatisfied with his sitting in various galleries, as his distinct brand of video art does not necessarily give one the impression of being an installation, but something much larger. He may remain on the fence about that suggestion, but perhaps, by refusing to make such a transition, Campbell is destined to work as an innovator, who continues to challenge his audience with questions of where art stops and documentary begins.
THE GREAT DANE MICHALA DAVEY-BØRRESEN
Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971) is one of Denmark’s most renowned designers. An exceptional man of immense vision, he is at the pinnacle of modern Danish design. His work epitomizes Danish modernism and functionalism and is employed throughout the world in home, work and in educational settings. He was born February 1902 in Copenhagen, his father was a wholesaler and his mother was one of the first women in Denmark to be trained as a bank clerk. Originally Jacobsen had hoped to pursue a career in painting. However, his father persuaded him to become an architect instead. He studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and it was there that he was introduced to the rationalist architecture of Mies van der Roche and le Corbusier, which would play a huge role in his future design concepts. By the 1930s he was designing in a sophisticated mixture of Danish vernacular and continental Modernism, and after World War ll Frank Lloyd Wright was a major influence. Like most Scandinavian architects of his generation he concerned himself with every aspect of a building’s design, paying as much attention to the interior and the fixtures as to the structure. When he created big projects he always designed everything down to the smallest detail, from the exterior down to the cutlery. Though most of his designs for silverware, textiles and furniture were created for specific projects, they had immediate appeal to the wider audience and many have become classics. One of his most famous projects was the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.
The hotel is the first design hotel ever built and the first hotel built by the Scandinavian Airlines System (a merger between the national airlines of Denmark, Norway and Sweden), and its purpose was to serve as an international style gateway to Scandinavia, predominantly for the growing number of American tourists traveling across the Atlantic. Jacobsen was the man charged with realizing the airline’s vision for this grand hotel for the jet age. He received the commission in 1955, at the peak of his career. This modernist masterpiece belongs to the global elite, as a design landmark. The building epitomizes modern urban space and sophisticated technological architecture. Jacobsen always used curved and rounded shapes in his design work as a contrast to his very precise buildings. The
CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: AARHUS TOWN HALL STAIRCASE, 1937; ARNE JACOBSEN; SAS HOTEL COPENHAGEN, 1954; THE EGG CHAIR
hotel is an ultimate experience, superior comfort in effortless luxury that integrates the pale light of Nordic skies in a carefully considered and cultivated manner. In addition to the building’s architectural accomplishment, the hotel’s interior is a work of art in its own right. Arne Jacobsen designed everything from the furniture to the aluminum mullions for the glass curtain walls, adding his touch to the carpets, curtains, door handles, wine glasses, cutlery, ashtrays and hotel signage system along the way. It was during this project that his Swan and Egg chairs were invented. As well as being a towering monument to Jacobsen’s talents as an architect and
designer, it was an homage to the craft traditions of Denmark. Jacobsen made prototypes for furniture, textiles, wallpaper, silverware, and other items. The co-operation between Arne Jacobsen and the Fritz Hansen furniture company dates back to1934, but it was in 1952 the break-through came with the Ant chair. This chair had a three legged continuous molded plywood back and seat and tubular steel legs. His furniture is mainly made from molded plywood bent into organic shapes. His Egg chair was designed for the lobby and reception areas of the SAS Royal hotel, the star base is made of aluminum mounted on a satin polished steel pedestal. The shells are made of a syn-
thetic material, padded with cold-cured foam. His holistic approach to his architecture and design can be seen in every aspect of his work. He enjoyed working with natural forms and materials, which was very much a traditional aspect of Danish craftsmanship. Like a locomotive, Arne Jacobsen pushed through the landscape of Danish design and architecture for more than half the past century. The traces are still present, everywhere around us today, more than 30 years after his death: from the architecture that we admire as we rush by, to the objects we use and enjoy every day, or consider at a distance as stars on the international design stage.
AS PART OF TRINITY ARTS FESTIVAL, 30 STAFF AND STUDENTS WERE GIVEN CAMERAS TO DOCUMENT A DAY IN THEIR LIVES. IRENE HO + RACHEL BOTHA, ORGANISERS OF THE EVENT ALONGSIDE CATRIONA SHEIL, TELL US ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE.
Staff and students of Trinity were invited to take a disposable camera and document a typical college day, beginning with the moment they woke up and ending exactly 24 hours later. The aim of this event was to highlight the diversity of experiences in the College, and we were overwhelmed with the number of responses we received from people all over campus. We had participants from almost every faculty from Medicine to Drama Studies, including several international and mature students and those based off-campus in placement in offices and hospitals. We were delighted to have several members of staff involved in this project; their participation gave us a refreshing glimpse into Trinity beyond student experience. The results highlighted both positive and negative aspects of college life - from making new friends as a Junior Freshman and the struggle of making it to class after a night out, to the difficulties facing students such as this year’s accommodation crisis and a shortage of services for those with disabilities. The photos were exhibited on TAF Thursday, accompanied by a string quartet and an impromptu speech from the ever-colourful Joseph O’Gorman. Special thanks to Conns Cameras and the staff the Arts Block Café.
SELECTION OF PHOTOS FROM THE TAF: 24 EXHIBITION
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Published on Mar 9, 2015