March 17, 2015

INTERVIEW: NAZ CUGUOĞLU

Naz Cuguoğlu
portrait of Naz Cuguoğlu; photo credit by by Zeynep Bolat

Residencies are a growing trend for artists and curators to establish an international network. But who are the organisers of these short-term projects? In Istanbul, one of the great networkers is Naz Cuguoğlu – coordinator of the maumau residency program in the district Çukurcuma. Having previously studied psychology and recently graduated in social psychology, Naz specialised in cultural psychology and volunteered in culture labs in Turkey, Nicaraguara and the US. She worked in an Istanbul-based gallery and frequently contributes reviews and interviews to publications like Istanbul art news, Artful Living, Trendsetter or KLOK. For her current project, the maumau residency, Naz organises the artists’ stay and co-curates exhibitions together with her collaborateur and maumau-founder Sine Ergün.

March 12, 2015

INTERVIEW: SAMUEL LEUENBERGER

Works from "Constructed Culture Sounds Like Conculture" at Ellis King, Dublin / Darren Bader, Mia Marfurt, Adrien Missika, Lydia Ourahmane and Tabor Robak Works from "Constructed Culture Sounds Like Conculture" at Ellis King, Dublin / Darren Bader, Mia Marfurt, Adrien Missika, Lydia Ourahmane and Tabor Robak
all images: installation views "Constructed Culture Sounds Like Conculture" | w/ Darren Bader, Mia Marfurt, Adrien Missika, Lydia Ourahmane and Tabor Robak | curated by Samuel Leuenberger | at Ellis King, Dublin | courtesy and © the artists | photo credit: Gunnar Meier

Not every title of an exhibition is self-explanatory. Sometimes it just increases the confusion. Constructed Culture Sounds Like Conculture is a group show at Ellis King in Dublin that has been put together by the swiss curator Samuel Leuenberger. Along the individual fantasy-scapes and narratives constructed by the artists Darren Bader, Mia Marfurt, Adrien Missika, Lydia Ourahmane and Tabor Robak, the show discusses the value of cultural constructions creating realities, responsibilities, images, perception-patterns and emotions attached to these realities. The result is a beautiful exhibition with a subject that is so complex and far-reaching, that I asked Samuel to explain the concept of Constructed Culture a bit further.

Samuel has a keen sense of aesthetic compositions and challenges. Having previously co-curated exhibitions like the live work show "14 Rooms" (2014) in Basel or the current painting show „Six Possibilities in Painting (Int)“ at Galerie Bernhard in Zurich, he experimented with both, the presentation of various artistic media and the negotioation of different subjects. With SALTS, his own project space in Birsfelden, just outside Basel, that started as dinner club and art salon, Samuel created a space for curatorial experiments and the development of ideas. Today he runs SALTS together with associate curator Elise Lammer, organising exhibitions and inviting others to work with them.

February 27, 2015

FORM IS WHAT HAPPENS

7_InstallationView_Form is What Happens Tobias Buckel_Vista and Pad_Form is What Happens From the top: installation view; Tobias Buckel, at Form is What Happens, Archiv Massiv, Leipzig / Courtesy and © the artists

“Form is what happens. It’s the fact of things in the world, however they are.” is a little known quote from the American poet Robert Creeley. With this statement he extended his prior principle “Form is never more than an extension of content”, which his older colleague Charles Olson used in 1950 in a manifest for the ‘Projective Verse’ – an open-form lyric. They demanded a separation of postmodern poetry from its static tradition and encouraged abstract tendencies, which had already begun in fine arts. Creeley’s proposition applied to the freedom of artistic expression and its diversity. Yet, despite its early empowerment, the form remains a condition of artistic production, be it a form of formlessness. Also contemporary painting – another medium that is preceded by a dictate of forms – is confronted with the question of what could be considered a painterly form today and which parameters determine its motifs. 

February 23, 2015

INTERVIEW: JORDAN TATE

TateSilva_NewShelterPlan_20_0160 TateSilva_NewShelterPlan_19_0180 TateSilva_NewShelterPlan_13_0178 all images above: Jordan Tate and Rick Silva at New Shelter Plan, Copenhagen / courtesy and © the artists 

Much discussed during the last Century, we keep on asking what role photography plays in our current society. For Jordan Tate, a 1981-born American multi-media artist who holds a degree in Philosophy and one in Photography, the medium and the image are always "fundamentally inseparable": His art negotiates the practice, the action, the process of image making and their perception through the context of photography. Within these subjects, Tate's photographic works are not necessarily two dimensional, they are also animated, sculptural or they extend their form into an installation. Living and working in Cincinnati, his current show DRAPE WAVE in the Copenhagen-based project space New Shelter Plan exhibits several works that he and his colleague Rick Silva created together. In our interview Tate told me about this collaboration, about the aura and the object-hood of the photographic image.

February 15, 2015

INTERVIEW: RASMUS NILAUSEN

The-Museum-of-Tongues_100x81_13 04_RN_SALVATORE 11_RN_SALVATORE all works by Rasmus Nilausen at Traneudstillingen, Copenhagen, courtesy and © Rasmus Nilausen

There is something boy'ish about the way Rasmus Nilausen smiles. Its like a small blink. As if he knew a funny thing that he decided not to share. And it is a very similar misteriousness that can be found in his paintings: each holding a story that is suggested through symbolic references, the paintings' visual appearance often guides in a completely different direction. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and sometimes just absurd. Based in Barcelona for more than a decade, the a 35-year old Danish painter uses his exhibitions to reformulate and, specifically, to re-invent the way we look at paintings. He tracks down the process of painting – unfolds it to its very basic techniques – and finds a new literalness to tell their stories. Rasmus explores the recipe of historical masterpieces and proceeds hoping that, as he has stated in a previous interview in 2011, "the perfect painting is always the one that I am about to paint – the next one." Having shown his works in art institutions, such as the ICA in London and Fundació Tàpies in Barcelona, Salvatore, his current exhibition at Traneudstillingen in Copenhagen is his first show in Denmark.  

January 15, 2015

INTERVIEW: KATJA KOTTMANN

Katja Kottmann_1_1_Stuhl Katja Kottmann_1_1 all works shown in the exhibition SHIPSHAPE, Städtische Galerie am Park, Viersen; courtesy and © Katja Kottmann

We often speak about site-specificity when referring to art works that relate to the environment they are exhibited in. In the case of conceptual installation artist Katja Kottmann this description finds another dimension: Each of her works recall or manipulate its past or current surroundings. While her objects' aesthetic is often strongly reminiscent of gestures in minimalist paintings, Kottmann conserves architectural features and represents them as ready-mades, honouring the basic form of space in a neutral approach.

Following a one-year residency in Viersen, a small town in west Germany, 1982-born Kottmann finished her stay with the solo exhibition SHIPSHAPE at Städtische Galerie am Park. The show touches many of the artist's recurring subjects, such as aspects of dispersion and of perception. The latter, as suggested by Kottmann, can never be motionless and is never entirely determined. Even the smallest shifts, interventions or translations lead to new perspectives in perception and give a visual appearance to the invisible. In our interview Kottmann told me about her show and her play with shifts.

December 15, 2014

INTERVIEW: KATHERINE BRADFORD

Katherine Bradford_at ADAMS AND OLLMAN in Portland, USA, featured on artfridge Katherine Bradford_at ADAMS AND OLLMAN in Portland, USA, featured on artfridge Katherine Bradford_at ADAMS AND OLLMAN in Portland, USA, featured on artfridge all works by Katherine Bradford at ADAMS AND OLLMAN in Portland; courtesy Adams and Ollman, copyright Katherine Bradford

Katherine Bradford, an American artist and recent Guggenheim Fellow, has been making a personal and intimate body of work that merges abstraction and figuration to emotional ends for nearly three decades. Her work, in turns humorous, epic and vulnerable is in conversation with a younger generation of artists dedicated to finding a way to tell stories and share experience through painting. During Bradford’s two person exhibition with Sarah Gamble at Adams and Ollman in Portland, the artist is interviewed by her son, Arthur Bradford, a writer and Emmy-nominated filmmaker.