20 June 2012

AMY'S LONDON: INCURABLE DREAMS AT TATTON PARK BIENNIAL

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Photo credits: Thierry Bal commissioned by Tatton Park Biennial.

Whoever said that the proliferation of the Biennale system need always be a bad thing? Maligned from Sao Paolo to Dakar as the transient playgrounds of an imported, global cultural elite, the rise of the biennial has nevertheless had a trickle-down effect that has lead to more modest manifestations of the format appearing in some interesting and unlikely places. Rather than overwhelm and overrun their locations these smaller biennials are often able to interact with them in a more intimate and nuanced way. Such is the case at the third Tatton Park Biennial, which I visited on a trip away from the capital last weekend.

16 June 2012

BERLIN: IMPRISONED IN NEUKÖLLN

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from the top: old shower room, photo by Abrie Fourie; installation by Eliana Heredia; video installation by Anne Duk Hee Jordan; bed-installation by Marc Bijl; canvas-installation by Surya Gied; photos by artfridge

This weekend is all about Berlin's 48h Neukölln art and culture festival with an endless list of things to do and to see. Two of my favourite curators, namely Pauline Doutreluingne from Mindpirates and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung from Savvy Contemporary, have organised the absolutely stunning exhibition 'Positioning Osmotic Impulses' in the former youth prison and former asylum seeker accommodation centre including 20 international artists. 15 of the artists comprise the former cells, the rotten shower rooms, the spooky hallways. Five other artists did or will perform live at the location. (Btw: Don't miss Balz Islar's fantastic performance on the 30th of June)
Some pieces, such as Marc Bijl's 'Dutch Bed' (1999) were subsequently integrated into the complicated architecture; and others, such as Surya Gied's minimalist canvas-composition 'Die Zelle ist leer' (2012) evolved from a site-specific interaction. Eliana Heredia's room filling installation 'Magdalena und das Feuer' (2011), an anthropomorphic form, consisting of half burned and half unused muffin-paper-cups, was perhaps the most impressive work to me, as it visualised the idea of non-sense labour while having nothing to do being locked up in prison. The exhibition is, though, not all about misery, being locked up and imprisoned, but it also plays humorously with the space: Anne Duk Hee Jordan's two part video installation 'Disembodiment' (2012), showing a stop-motion plant growing out of a woman's butt, still buzzes the sound of 'PotAto, PotatO, TomAto, TomatO...' in my ears.

13 June 2012

LONDON: I SEE YELLOW SPOTS AT ROD BARTON GALLERY

JC2012 - Installation 02 - A Painted Sun as a Yellow SpotJC2012 - Relief Construction, Citroen Picasso car windows, windscreen wiper blades, exhaust parts and an exploded metal replica of Picasso’s signature - 90 x 220 cm JC2012 - One Black Curve…Then Another, Interior door trim, heat shrink, windscreen wiper blade, paint, bungee cord, metal, hand stained wood panelling, washers, 240 x 265 x 12 cm JC2012 - Installation 04 - A Painted Sun as a Yellow Spot  JC2012 - Installation 01 - A Painted Sun as a Yellow Spot
all images: 
James Clarkson - A Painted Sun as a Yellow Spot, Courtesy Rod Barton Gallery  

If you would find an old Citroen Picasso, what would you do with it? Above, you can look at one way. In his response to art history and the glory of art-superstars, James Clarkson, a Sheffield-based, 1987 born artist, transformed the car into a site-specific and room-filling installation at Rod Barton Gallery. What a great idea, since Rod's gallery somewhat reminds of pimped garage. Clarkson's work for this exhibition has been inspired by Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1954 film Le Mystère Picasso, where Picasso paints on a transparent canvas. The film and the Picasso's works merge into a non-linear exhibition; melt into Clarkson's style; inventing a rebirth of history without forgetting to speak a contemporary language.
The show is running until the 16th of June.

7 June 2012

JÜRGEN TELLER. GET A LIFE.

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courtesy Jürgen Teller

I just rediscovered this in my bookshelf: Jürgen Teller's awesome photos for Vivienne Westwoods Spring / Summer 2010 collection 'Get a Life'. The models are Ms. Westwood herself, her husband Andreas Kronthaler, fashion model Tati Cotliar and Pamela Anderson.