22 August 2012

PIPPILOTTI'S EYEBALL MASSAGE

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all images by Anneli Botz

To enter into the world of Pipilotti Rist’s exhibition “Augapfelmassage” (“eyeball massage”) is like immersing into a space full of organic sensuality. After plunging into the exhibition’s darkness, the visitor finds himself in the middle of a softly lit world, surrounded by low talking voices and smooth sounds of music, which make the change from the hectic life outside to this otherworldly atmosphere even more distinct. The lights of various video installations guide him through the tubular succession of rooms which seem to resemble an organic structure and raise awareness for Pipilotti Rist’s most prominent subjects: a life affirming oscillation between the inside and the outside, between the psyche and the outer appearance and the female body as both subject and medium for the fruitfulness of life itself.

A key figure is the endoscopic camera that runs over the body’s surface like an intimate observer, capturing the female curves and the plainness of the skin in a close-up view that enables a change of perspective and subtlety exposes it as a landscape of aesthetics and vital sexuality. The diverse and manifold use of view angles prevents the visitor to become a voyeuristic observer but rather engages him into the scenery instead of creating a distance between him and the art object. The installation “Lungenfl├╝gel” (“lung”) invites the audience to sit down on a pile of cushions in the middle of a room, surrounded by three large video screens where different scenes overlap or correspond to each other. Looking up from an extremely narrow point of view the visitor becomes a part of the natural settings, fascinated by the movements of the over dimensional bodies that act within the films.

Accompanied by the mild sounds of music it is a very relaxing journey through a world that is dominated by Pipilotti Rists’s distinct sense for aestheticism that is equally present in a green fruitful field with piglets and as well as on a dirty wet pamphlet with pieces of rubbish. As a collaboration of the London Hayward gallery, Kunsthalle Mannheim and the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, this circulating exhibition pays a long desired and extensive tribute to one of the most significant representatives of contemporary video art and is definitely worth seeing, even if just to get your eyeballs massaged.

17 August 2012

T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G - N:O:T:H:I:N:G


A little T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G and N:O:T:H:I:N:G by avantgarde and Structural-film pioneer Paul Sharits (1943-1993). Epileptic attacks included.

9 August 2012

AMY'S LONDON: GOLD MEDAL ART

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From the top: Installation by Anthea Hamilton and Nicholas Byrne, Fountain by Klaus Weber, Sculpture park by Gary Webb, billboard illustrations by Sanarth Banerjee, photos: Amy Sherlock

With all eyes currently on London, it is worth drawing their attention to some of the events that are happening alongside the games as part of the London 2012 festival, the grande finale of a four-year long, publicly funded Cultural Olympiad. From a line-up featuring boats, puppets, film on bus shelters and an inflatable Stonehenge, a podium position should be reserved for Frieze Projects East. Commissioned by the not-for-profit arm of the ever-growing commercial-critical complex that bought you the art fair(s) and the magazine, these six artists’ projects are spread across the Olympic boroughs of East London. In a dialogue with the crowded Olympic venues, each explores art as a collective event by playing with the different kind of public or communal spaces that art can occupy.

A stone’s throw away from the stadium in an otherwise empty storehouse, Klaus Weber’s Sandfountain flows almost-but-not-quite silently. In a brilliant inversion of the babbling levity of cascading water, the sand streaming from the top of this grandiose, three-tier fountain collects lumpily, forming uneven banks that collapse in erratic, unpredictable landslides. Divorced from the monumental grandeur of the public spaces to which is normally an accessory, the fountain’s decorative frivolity evokes a sense of futility and pathos. Elsewhere, Anthea Hamilton and Nicholas Byrne’s LOVE has repopulated an abandoned public bath house with giant inflatable sculptures which iconoclastically reference well known art works and imagery from the popular cultural imagination. And Sanarth Banerjee’s graphic illustrations, the Gallery of Losers (Non-Performers, Almost-Winners, Under-Achievers, Almost-Made-Its) dedicate billboards, public screens and local newspaper columns to that very British anti-hero – the also-ran. A timely tonic to the success fever currently sweeping the nation, Banarjee’s deadpan works reclaim the advertising billboard – a space from which dreams and ideals are sold to the masses – for the humdrum, banal and quotidian.

8 August 2012

BOOKS: HIEPLER, BRUNIER

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All images from the publication "Stillgestellt", hiepler, brunier, 2012, Panatom Book

What if time was visible? What if time would just stand still? What if time was forgotten?
The German photographer duo David Hiepler and Fritz Brunier - simply calling themselves hiepler, brunier - visited places all around the earth, where they suspected the clock to have stopped ticking. Within the last eight years they photographed isolated houses in Iceland, which were abandoned in the financial crisis; left-over-beach-clubs at the dead sea in Israel; a muted fun park in Foz do Iguacu in Brazil; an industrial Chinese backyard appearing like a film setting. Other pictures document people in waiting positions - appearing lost. Each photograph follows a similar style: the sky transforms into white nothingness, a non-space that evolves into the sky. "Stillgestellt" (Standing Still) - an archive of these timeless locations - is the new publication by hiepler, brunier. It invites to contemplate, to long for isolation and silence, and maybe even to wish that time would stand still for just a moment.

4 August 2012

DRIED, BRAISED, GLAZED, ROAST

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From the top:  Urs Fischer "Dried"; "Braised"; "Glazed"; "Roast" ( 2012),  Photos by Mats Nordman, courtesy Urs Fischer

"Dried", "Braised", "Glazed", "Roast" - four new collages on aluminum panels by one of my all-time-favorites Urs Fischer. The 1973 born swiss artist lives in New York and has been exhibiting world wide for many years now. His website (ursfischer.com) is a fantastically ordered archive of his work, so one can spend quite a lot of time exploring his stuff.