Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)

For the second event of their three-month Engagement Party residency, Knifeandfork presents Trying the Hand of God, a public intervention occurring at MOCA Grand Avenue on Thursday, April 2, from 7 to 10pm. Engagement Party is the dynamic initiative developed by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), to engage innovative Los Angeles–based artist collectives. Cash bar. This event is FREE and open to the public. No reservations are required.

Trying the Hand of God explores the nature of the media-perpetuated chance moment. Knifeandfork will host a carefully choreographed continuous reenactment of the infamous illegal, but not penalized, "Hand of God" soccer goal from the 1986 International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) World Cup. The performance will be staged on a recreation of Mexico City's Aztec Stadium, constructed within the confines of the MOCA Sculpture Plaza. A limited number of audience members will have the opportunity to play the role of Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer legend who scored the controversial goal against England during the quarterfinals, eventually leading his team to win the match and the tournament. 

Through live performance, Knifeandfork introduces the potential for variations on a familiar, media-repeated image. The issue of variation is particularly interesting in this case, as the controversy over the "Hand of God" goal raised complex questions of chance, skill, and fate. In their choreographed reenactments, Knifeandfork attempts to control all possible variables, yet the possibility of a "perfect" performance inevitably remains elusive. Rather, the repetitions serve as a form of kinetic documentation, both of what was and what might have been, and they grant the audience agency over the representation of this iconic event, which has been otherwise ossified by media reproductions. 

Knifeandfork, founded by Brian House and Sue Huang while on a coffee break during a figure-drawing class in Sweden, currently operates out of Los Angeles and New York. Knifeandfork projects are concerned with the critical reconfiguration of media structures and contexts. Recent work includes 
The Wrench (2008), which recasts Primo Levi's The Monkey's Wrench as an open-ended mobile phone text-message exchange between participants and an artificially intelligent character; 5 'til 12 (2006), a nonlinear interactive installation utilizing a database of video clips to create a near-infinite number of narratives based on the Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon; and Hundekopf (2005), a location-based narrative project utilizing SMS text-messaging to animate and recontextualize the experience of riding the Berlin Ringbahn. Knifeandfork's past exhibition hosts include Rhizome at the New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York; Beall Center for Art + Technology, University of California, Irvine; Loving Berlin Festival, Berlin; and Kulturhuset, Stockholm.

Engagement Party
Launched in October 2008, MOCA's 
Engagement Party offers emerging Los Angeles–based artist collectives three-month residencies during which they present public programs at MOCA Grand Avenue on the first Thursday of each month from 7 to 10pm. Collectives may employ any medium, discipline, or strategy during their residency, resulting in programs that may include performances, workshops, screenings, lectures, or any other activity emerging from the group's particular focus. By providing a platform for artist collectives who operate through multi-disciplinary, non-object based practices, MOCA intends to address the significant role of these practices in the contemporary cultural landscape and challenge the conventions of a collecting institution. Engagement Party is made possible by a one-year grant from The James Irvine Foundation. 

Parking for MOCA Grand Avenue
Parking is recommended at the Walt Disney Concert Hall garage. Parking is also available in surrounding lots.

Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin

Katharina Grosse's work is characterized by an anarchic impulse. Since the beginning of the 1990s, she has been working on a pictorial form that disregards fixed boundaries and hierarchies. For the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin, Grosse has created a new group of works. The title of the show, "shadowbox", gives rise to multilayered associations: from shadowboxing, to a kind of negative form of the white cube, all the way to the display.

Four oversized, concave ellipses face each other leaning against the interior walls of the Kunsthalle. The front sides of the heavy picture mediums made of laminated rigid foam are covered with Grosse's characteristic spray painting. Since they are also perforated or cut, and visitors can walk around them, the supporting walls remain visible.

The sculptural forms rise almost all the way up to the art hall's nine-meter-high ceiling joists. According to Grosse, the issue is not color, spectacular spatial experiences or performance, but rather "to open up a performative space of thought in which everyone can perceive reality in a different way: without notions of good and evil, without hierarchies and borders." The "shadowbox" is an open system. "Painting, thinking and acting in it means that there is no longer a reality that is more real than potentiality. Reality is thus updated in the possibilities of each individual at all times."

In this way, the audience is included in an aesthetic event in which qualities of experiencing architecture, sculpture and panel painting merge in one object. Hence, imagination and facts, illusion and abstraction, potentialities and realities cease to form opposite principles. It is precisely their coexistence that lends Grosse's artistic work relevance within the larger social frame as well. For it offers perception - and cognition - a horizon of experience that goes beyond fixed ideas and unambiguous categories of mental and social stagnation. Grosse's art impressively contradicts the belief that we must anchor our notions of the world and of ourselves in unshakable basic principles.

Katharina Grosse (born 1961 in Freiburg/Breisgau) lives and works in Berlin. 

Her expansive installations have been on view in large solo exhibitions, among others, at FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand (2008); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto (2007); Renaissance Society, Chicago (2007); De Appel, Amsterdam (2006); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005); Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall (2004); Berlinische Galerie (2003); Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (2002). This year she will additionally exhibit at the Neues Museum Nürnberg and the Museum for Moderne Kunst, Arken.

She has also participated in important group exhibitions including Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin. Die Kunst zweier Städte, Neue Nationalgalerie / Mori Art Museum (2006); Taipei Biennial (2006); deutschemalereizweitausenddrei, Frankfurter Kunstverein (2003); 25th Bienal de São Paulo (2002). 

Katharina Grosse was awarded the Fred-Thieler-Preis 2003, and since 2000 holds a professorship at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee in Berlin.

Dr. Katja Blomberg (Artistic Advisory Board of Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin and Director of the Haus am Waldsee, Berlin)

Paris Photo 2009

From November 19 to 22, 2009, Paris Photo will present a panoramic overview of worldwide photographic expression, spanning the 19th century to the present day while also unveiling an emerging international scene.

For its 13th edition, Paris Photo turns the spotlight on photographic work from the Arab countries and Iran in what is an unprecedented exploration of the practice in this part of the world.

Curated by 
Catherine David who was responsible for Documenta X in Kassel in 1997 as well as numerous exhibitions and publications on Middle Eastern artistic expression, this year's project will be based on three components. 

Central Exhibition will unveil a selection of rare studio photographs from the archives of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut; the Statement section will present a number of emerging talents from the region - from Tehran to Damascus, Beirut to Cairo, Tangiers to Dubai... The Project Room will offer a series of video works, testimony to the growing interest for the dynamics of this medium among the artists of the region.


Launched in support of contemporary photography, the BMW - Paris Photo Prize has become an important landmark in the world of international photography. Every year a 
panel of prestigious experts selects a prize winner among 20 short-listed artists represented by galleries participating in Paris Photo, on a theme inspired by the world of BMW.

The short-listed works will be exhibited during Paris Photo, and the winner will be awarded the 12,000 euros prize.

Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art

Curated by Marco Bazzini and Stefano Pezzato, this show claims to be the most complete and detailed overview of the work of Loris Cecchini (Milan, 1969). Arranged in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition is characterized by environmental works accompanied by an ample selection of photographs, sculptures and installations dating from the mid-1990s to the present day. Engaged from the very start in the investigation of the object and of space, with this important one-man show Loris Cecchini establishes himself as one of the artists most appreciated both in Italy and abroad.

The display begins with a series of installations/environments, or "exercises in architecture" which develop an idea of the environment by altering the spectator's relationship with it. In this group of works we find the new version of Around and Around, a schematic landscape modelled in three dimensions on the computer and reproduced in perspective as a trompe l'œil grid on the walls of a room. The viewing route follows an enormous traversable volumetric grid that takes after Density Spectrum Zone (2002-2004), installations created by deforming and linking together PVC elements expanding into the space.

For Cecchini the conception and creation of "structures" takes the form of a series of dwelling places and modules entitled Monologue Patterns: Matrici (2003), consisting of sketches created digitally and engraved on grey PVC surfaces, and Crisalide (Premio per la giovane arte italiana, 2005), a sort of artificial greenhouse intended as an area of interchange between natural organism and transfigured architectural form. The Monologue Patterns series also includes the Roulottes (2004-2007): object—environments transformed into "vehicles of light" which project shadows of the network or fretted modular grids which cover them, or else into transparent places containing plants, books and other objects which the public can handle.

The artist's direct relationship with space and his passion for biological morphology is displayed in the expansion of bubbles and the proliferation of organic, molecular or artificial forms produced with metals or plastic materials. He creates the series of extruded bodies in resin, which like skeletons (Morphic Resonance, 2004-2007) or familiar architectural features emerge from the walls and take on the surreal appearance of windows, bookcases and radiators (Gaps, 2004-2009), or else cling to the building in the form of huge transparent balloons suspended in space (Blaublobbing, 2004-2009).

The show then includes the photo-montages of his early career in which, with the photography reworked on the computer, Cecchini creates fictitious environments inhabited by real people, transparent dwellings (No casting, 1997-1999), external views using vivid colours, billowing morphologies of bubbles, transparent involucres (Powderscape/Seedscape/Pigmentscape, 2005-2007), 3D models of trees and photographs of icebergs reconstructed in the studio with invented architectonic models (The painted distances, 2008 e Sliding constructions and drifting thoughts, 2008-2009).

Gerhard Richter at Centre de la photographie Geneva‏


The exhibition UERBERNALTE FOTOGRAFIEN / PHOTOGRAPHIES PEINTES (OVERPAINTED PHOTOGRAPHS) at the Centre de la photographie Geneva (CPG) presents a side the work of Gerhard Richter (*Dresden, 1932) largely unknown up till now. Only a few collectors and gallerists close to the artist were aware of the practise that Gerhard Richter, one of the most important artists of our times, had developed systematically since 1982. For a long time he had considered this work only as a compliment to his major oeuvre, and it is only since this exhibition was put together that these more than 1500 overpainted photographs will enter into his catalogue raisone. The CPG presents approximately 340 of them in this show.

Today – Gerhard Richter having just celebrated his 77th birthday – this unknown aspect of his work invites one to re-define the totality of his oeuvre which oscillates between his figurative painting which uses photography as its basic model and his abstract painting - which reflects formal geometric abstraction as well as a much looser abstraction. By placing the materials of painting on exposed and developed photographic surfaces, with their involuntary expressiveness, Gerhard Richter reinforces the uniqueness of each of the mediums and opens a field of tension rich in paradoxes, as old as the couple – painting / photography –which has largely defined modern art. 

The exhibition has been produced in conjunction with the Museum of Morsbroich, Leverkusen.

Robert Longo - Of Men and Monsters

It is not pure coincidence that this first exhibition in the new Art Foyer is devoted to the American artist Robert Longo. It shows works from three series, for the first time in this context, which span a creative period of over 25 years from the late 1970s to the present. This is also the period in which most of the works in the DZ BANK art collection originate. 

Longo's works from 
The Freud Cycle (2002) exhibit strong parallels to Gerhard Richter's "photo-painting" method. For his black and white painting cycle 18. Oktober 1977 (1988), Richter took as his starting point police photos of the bodies in Stammheim which were published in illustrated magazines. In the late 1990s, Longo came across a publication containing documentary photos which Edmund Engelman had taken in 1938 in Freud's apartment and practice at Berggasse 19, Vienna, during the latter's emigration to London, where Freud, who was seriously ill, died one year later. Engelman's photographs in particular, but also some other photographs, formed the starting point for Longo's The Freud Drawings, a series of large charcoal drawings. The smaller black and white Iris prints in this exhibition are based on these drawings. 

Freud's path to psychoanalysis took him via research into hysteria and Jean–Martin Charcot, who originally wanted to be a painter. The major role the latter's photographic iconography played for his psychiatric practise is well known. The Surrealists discerned a "convulsive beauty" in it. If we consider Longo's series 
Men in the Cities (1979-81/2005) and his Freud Cycle together, we especially notice the similarity of the human images with those historical, scientific photographs. Both stage "attitudes passionelles". One twist to Longo's iconography of urban gestures in the capital city of the 20th century is its mysteriousness and interchangeability.

Pictures are about pictures. Thus Longo's group of works entitled 
Monsters (2005) is also a "series noir". And in this series of monster waves once again, based on many of his own and other photographs, the references to art history jump out at us, from Hokusai through Courbet to Sugimoto. In a certain way, photography in the 20th century repeats the history of painting. However, what is more important for Longo is that he – and the works in this exhibition obviously do this – appears to be captivated by our fascination of film, power (as in the elementary natural power of waves) and spectacle: the power of images. 

Men in the Cities was inspired by a film still (from Fassbinder's Der amerikanische Soldat; 1970) and Robert Longo's wave pictures make reference to both iconic and loud spectacles with subtitles like "Godzilla", the monumental thing about these Monsters, as, ultimately, in his other two series too, is above all the stillness. As the artist himself stresses, "I am interested in stillness."

Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art presents Indian Highway

Gunnar B. Kvaran, Director, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, Serpentine Gallery and Co-Director Exhibitions and Programmes, Serpentine Gallery and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director Exhibitions and Programmes and Director, International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, in association with Hanne Beate Ueland and Grete Årbu, Curators, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.

Included artists: Ayisha Abraham, Ravi Agarwal, Nikhil Chopra, Dawood/Deora, Debkamal Ganguly, Sheela Gowda, Sakshi Gupta, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, N.S. Harsha, Abhishek Hazra, M.F. Husain, Anant Joshi, Ruchir Joshi, Jitish Kallat, Amar Kanwar, Bharti Kher, Riyas Komu, Bose Krishnamachari, Nalini Malani, Kavita Pai/Hansa Thapliyal, Pors & Rao, Prajakta Potnis, M.R. Rajan, Sumedh Rajendran, Raqs Media Collective, Priya Sen, Tejal Shah, Surabhi Sharma (with Siddharth Gautam Singh), Sudarshan Shetty, Dayanita Singh, Kiran Subbaiah, Ashok Sukumaran & Shaina Anand, Hema Upadhyay, Avinash Veeraraghavan, Vipin Vijay and Vivek Vilasini.

Indian Highway is the second chapter in our focus on the arts of three major cultural regions, China, India and the Middle East, reflecting a shift from Western to emerging global economies, conceived and organised by the Serpentine Gallery and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.

Following the remarkable and rapid economic, social and cultural developments in India in recent years,
Indian Highway is a timely presentation of the pioneering work being made in India today, embracing art, architecture, film, literature and dance. The culmination of extensive research over a lengthy period, Indian Highway is a snapshot of a vibrant generation of artists working across a range of media, from painting, photography and sculpture to installation and Internet-based art and video. It features those who have already made an impact on international art juxtaposed with emerging practitioners. 

Some artworks in the exhibition have been selected for their connection to the theme of 
Indian Highway, reflecting the importance of the road in migration and movement and the link between rural and urban communities. Other works make reference to technology and the 'information superhighway', which has been central to India's economic boom. A common thread throughout is the way in which these artists demonstrate an active political and social engagement, examining complex issues in an Indian society undergoing transition, which include environmentalism, religious sectarianism, globalisation, gender, sexuality and class. 

Canada Pavilion at 53rd Venice Biennale presents Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis will represent Canada at the 53rd International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia 2009. The exhibition is curated by Barbara Fischer, Director/Curator of Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto.

Lewis has received international recognition for his short, visually evocative, silent films that parse the techniques of cinema while focusing on incidental places encountered in everyday life. Highlighting the mechanical vision of the camera, his work consistently draws attention to the spatial and temporal incongruities associated with past visions of the future embedded in present urban modernity. In many of his nuanced depictions of the contemporary city, subtle allusions relating to the complex social and visual forces at play within certain types of architectural spaces gradually take hold as seemingly quotidian activities are transformed into profound observations. Further exploring the relationship between place, time, and representation, the installation developed by Wasiuta Leung Design for Canada Pavilion will involve reconfiguring the space for cinematic presentation.

Lewis's exhibition on view at the Canada Pavilion, titled "Cold Morning", features several new films, including works that examine and foreground the legacy of rear projection. Pioneered in the early 1920s, Lewis considers rear projection to be one of Hollywood's most stunning visual inventions. Playing between illusion and visible montage, it is a part of a larger fascination with the history and techniques of film that have conceptually informed the artist's work throughout his 15-year career. 

By presenting rear-projection's potential of containing two or more distinct places and durations within a given filmic image from the vantage point of digital cinema, Lewis' project for the Canada Pavilion aptly reflects on the current critical juncture within contemporary filmmaking involving advancing technologies simultaneously eclipsing this modernist form of montage while re-inventing the archive of analog cinema.

"Cold Morning" is accompanied by a catalogue, co-published with the Vancouver Art Gallery, with essays by
Grant Arnold, David Campany, Barbara Fischer, Laura Mulvey, and an interview between Mark Lewis and Klaus Biesenbach.

Mark Lewis lives and works in London, England. He was born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1958, and began making films in the mid 1990s. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunstverein, Musée d'art Moderne (Luxembourg), BFI Southbank (London), the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Bucharest, Romania), P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (New York), MAMCO (Geneva), Le Grand-Café (Saint-Nazaire, France), and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Group exhibitions include The American Effect, Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and the 3rd Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Artamong many others. His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, and the Centre Pompidou (Paris). 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MOMENTUM 2009 - 5th Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art

Participating artists:

Akassen, Mats Adelman, Roger Andersson, Asmundur Asmundsson, Fia Backström, Maja Bajević, Petra Bauer & Annette Krauss, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Maja Borg, Liv Bugge, Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Jacob Dahlgren, Ida Ekblad, Marte Eknæs, Andreas Eriksson, Jan Freuchen, Carl-Michael von Hausswolff, Hannaleena Heiska, Saskia Holmkvist, Karl Holmqvist, Lars Laumann, Klara Liden, Darri Lorenzen, Josefine Lyche, Eline McGeorge, Are Mokkelbost, Jani Ruscica, Marthe Thorshaug, Helgi Þórsson, Salla Tykkä, Gaeoudjiparl

Punkt Ø proudly presents 
Favoured Nations, the fifth edition of Momentum, focusing on the work of artists with a background from, or a connection to, the Nordic region. The exhibition features 31 artists and groups spread across two outstanding and strikingly different venues – Momentum Kunsthall and Galleri F15.

Favoured Nations is a legal term borrowed from international trade agreements, which is used in contracts to request equal treatment for all parties. In the context of this biennial the term acts as a springboard for highlighting issues around equality, access and the ways in which those involved in artistic production are treated. Highlighting infrastructural issues such as artists' salaries and hierarchies involved in curatorial decisions, the curators have used the title as a working method rather than a theme. Is there such a thing as 'fair treatment' in a biennial context and if so, what might this mean? 

In the context of a Nordic Biennial the term 
Favoured Nations also points to ideas often associated with Nordic countries – the belief that artists from this region of economic prosperity enjoy privileged treatment, a life filled with opportunities, grants and, we are often told, salaries to be an artist. The curators have made a decision to work with artists they have come across during their research trips in the five Nordic countries – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland as well as Nordic 'satellites' (Berlin, London, New York) – cities which are home to many artists from the region. 

About Momentum
Previous Momentum's have been curated by Lars Bang Larsen, Daniel Birnbaum and Atle Gerhardsen (Pakkhus, 1998), Jonas Ekeberg, Paula Toppila, Jacob Fabricius and Ina Blom (Park, 2000), Caroline Corbetta and Per Gunnar Tverbakk (Momentum 2004) and Anette Kierulf and Marc Sladen (Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better, 2006). 

Curators 2009
Lina Dzuverovic is the Founding Director of ELECTRA, a London-based contemporary art agency established in 2003. She is currently curating the exhibition '27 Senses' about the life of Kurt Schwitters in Norway, at Kunstmuseet KUBE, Alesund, Norway. Selected projects include co-curating Art Now Live performance program at Tate Britain (2007), 
Transcommunication Lab (as part of Radio Gallery Series 2006), Her Noise (South London Gallery, 2005), Perfect Partner by Kim Gordon, Tony Oursler and Phil Morrison (Barbican Centre, London) and devising and teaching on the lecture series Sound And The Twentieth Century Avant Garde (Tate Modern, 2004/05).

Stina Högkvist is a curator of Contemporary Art at the National Museum of Art Architecture and Design in Oslo, Norway. In 2009 she curated "Hypocrisy: the site specificity of morality" together with Koyo Kouoh. For the summer of 2009 she is planning an exhibition with assume vivid astro focus. She is also working on a research project at the museum titled Dark secrets: representations of Africa in the museum collection.

Daimler Contemporary Berlin

After ten years of significant involvement in South Africa, the Daimler Art Collection concludes the awarding of our Mercedes-Benz Award for South African Art and Culture with the category Fashion Design. Each year we have honoured South African artists working in different disciplines, giving them an opportunity to present their work to an international audience. This year's Award winners, Daniça Lepen (*1983 Johannesburg, lives in Johannesburg) and Jacques van der Watt (*1971 Pretoria, lives in Johannesburg), from the label Black Coffee (Johannesburg), stand out among the field of nominees with their sculpture and installation-related collection that intelligently integrates South African traditions and modern trends to create innovative tailoring. In the course of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week all eight nominated Fashion Designers will present specially created collections in the exhibition at Daimler Contemporary, Haus Huth, Berlin. 

The Mercedes-Benz Award for South African Art and Culture was awarded in February 2009 for the ninth time since 1999. Early Award recipients have been Kay Hassan (Contemporary Art, 2000), Themba Mkhize (Jazz, 2001) and Jane Alexander (Sculpture, 2002) each in their respective genre. In 2003 the prize was awarded to choreographer Sbo Ndaba, in 2004 to photographer Guy Tillim, followed in 2005 by Gabeba Baderoon, who received the Award for South African Poetry. The exhibition marking the Award for South African Architecture presented Heinrich Wolff in Berlin, then in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban as well as as part of the International Architecture Biennale in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Last year's Award for Art Projects in Public Spaces went to the artist Kevin Brand for his pioneering art projects in public spaces. The Award aims to promote artistic and cultural life in South Africa and recognizes the country's cultural activity as a reflection of its social and political development and maturity. All Award winners were invited to Germany and subsequently made appearances or held exhibitions in various South African cities. An accompanying publication or the recording of a CD forms a key part of the award. Besides a sizeable prize purse and the publication, the award winners receive a whole year's exposure through various promotions locally and internationally. As recipients of this years Mercedes-Benz Award the winning label Black Coffee will have the amazing opportunity to present their collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin in July 2009. 

In announcing the winner, the jury panel chairperson, Sheldon Kopman of Naked Ape Fashion Consulting, explained why Black Coffee had been selected as the winners, "We chose this design team - Jacques van der Watt and Daniça Lepen - because their collection represents a perfect fusion of considered past and future, translating into a modern South Africa. They took the concept of fashion installation to a new level and let it resonate with a presence; it has a living form! Their collection signals a new face of modern South Africa, one of incredible pride, dignity and confidence. This team's design vision transcends the obvious and manages to manifest a message of community and unity."

Besides the award-winning label Black Coffee a special recommendation was given to Craig Native for paying tribute to all 'natives'. "Staying true to his vision for a locally produced, innovative, sportswear label, he had created a range that mirrors the identity of urban South African culture today. His garments as well as his attitude is real, it's authentic, and it's practical and accessible. Not only does he recognise the business opportunity of the World Cup, but takes it a step further into conceptual, yet affordable design," the jury said. On the occasion of the exhibition at Daimler Contemporary Craig Native has designed a limited edition of T-Shirts, which can be order online. 

Furthermore our exhibition at Daimler Contemporary will showcase some 30 works – including drawings, collages and photographs by eleven artists from Germany and South Africa. 

Participating Designers:
Abigail Betz, Daniça Lepen and Jacques van der Watt for Black Coffee, Themba Mngomezulu for Darkie Clothing, Stiaan Louw, Palesa Mokubung for Mantsho, Maya Prass, Craig Native, DavidTlale.

Participating Artists: 
Jane Alexander, Mbongeni Buthelezi, David Goldblatt, Kay Hassan, David Koloane, ZwelethuMthethwa, Sam Nhlengethwa, Jürgen Schadeberg, Claudette Schreuders, Guy Tillim, AndrewTshabangu.


MUSAC to open at Műcsarnok Kunsthalle in Budapest 
Mi Vida. From Heaven to Hell. Life experiences in art from MUSAC Collection, the biggest exhibition of its Collection outside Spain up until today

The biggest exhibition of MUSAC Collection shown up until today outside the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León will take place between March 27 and May 17, 2009 at Mücsarnok Kunsthalle in Budapest. Under the title Mi Vida. From Heaven to Hell. Life experiences in art from MUSAC Collection, the show will exhibit a selection of works which stress the relations between art and life from different standpoints. More than forty artists will show their works in approximately 2.500 square meters. Thus, Mi Vida... joins previous shows of MUSAC Collection in institutions like Santralistambul (Istambul) or MACUF (A Coruña, Spain); fairs like Paris Photo (Paris); or festivals like Hay Festival (Segovia) or Benicássim International Festival.

Life itself has always been the central point of artistic expression. Through different ages artists have reflected their experiences and opinions through their artworks. This phenomenon is the key to understanding art: the things the artist sees are somehow related to the life he or she leads.

The exhibition 
Mi Vida shows contemporary pieces which underline this relation between art and life from different standpoints. The works, which are all coming from MUSAC Collection, bring together two points of view: on one side, the hedonist and psychological nature of the everyday life; and on the other, decisive factors such as geographical, historical and political circumstances under which conflicts and existential problems are the centre of human existence.

Our world is divided in two different extremes. In one of them the economical possibilities of the individual enable a life where quality and investment give the prospect of a future, while on the other half the present tense is the only reference point and every other factors are ephemeral or unforeseeable. These two contradictory statuses often coexist in one geographical point of the globe, as they are not defined geographically, but they define the horizon of what we call human existence.

The show is constructed departing form these different standpoints. As we believe that the aforementioned „extremes" are not isolated poles, we are inviting the visitor to a journey where the differences between these extremes can be seen, as well as the parallelisms and contradictions. This way, in the first rooms we aim to recreate a series of positive statements through works by Pipilotti Rist, as a paradox of a new Paradise, Kimsooja with her calm installation or Tabaimo with her human tattoo landscape. Also in this part of the exhibition the visitor will find „Brighten your mind", the positive slogan by Emese Benczur; Jesper Just and his emotive exteriorization of feelings, as well as 
Mother by Candice Breitz, not to forget the social project-piece by Alicia Framis, Bloodsushibank.

Following this part of the exhibition, we find other rooms where statements become more ambiguous and pain and pleasure engage in a conversation the same way they do in our daily life. Thus, hedonist aspects present in the pieces by Ángel Marcos or Massimo Vitali confront this vital landscape with political aspects in Zhan Huan's works or Carmela Garcia's fictionalized female world. It is also interesting to observe institutions such as the family and relationships. Friends, partners, couples, etc. have a critical treatment in the works by Enrique Marty, Tracey Moffat, MP & MP Rosado, Muntean/Rosemblum and Ryan McGinley, together with more nostalgic works which reflect experience or the effects of time, as in the case of Carles Congost or Wolfgang Tillmans. 

Electric Palm Tree presents The Demon of Comparisons / The Antagonistic Link‏

The Demon of Comparisons 

With Heman Chong, Hafiz, Tibor Hajas, Beom Kim, Sung Hwan Kim, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Tadasu Takamine, with special contributions by Philippe Rekacewicz and Grace Samboh
Curated by Binna Choi in collaboration with Kyongfa Che and Cosmin Costinas.
Opening: Friday 27 March 2008, 17:00 at SMBA, accompanied by the lecture-performance 
Finders Keepers by Jeuno Kim.

The Demon of Comparisons is an association of subjective positions relating in various ways to larger social and political frameworks, to power and cultural constructions. Placing emphasis on the issue of individual agency in a landscape defined by questions of national and cultural identities, The Demon of Comparisons questions the kind of collectivity these subjects can form. The title is a translation of a phrase from Jose Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere, "el demonio de las comparaciones", also used by Benedict Anderson as the title of his book, where it is rendered as The Specter of Comparisons. An original and insightful thinker, Benedict Anderson questioned the patterns and the meeting points that are to be found throughout geographies, times and power structures that lead to formations of identities and various senses of belonging. Our translation remains anchored in this area of interest, but is intended to add the potential of the polisemy, indeed the spectres, of the original Spanish word, "demonio", in dealing with the subjectivity of one's experience of culture and power.

The Demon of Comparisons grew out of exchanges and discussions during Open Circuit #1: Yogyakarta, organized by Electric Palm Tree in September 2008 in Indonesia. During the week-long workshop, participants shared and negotiated their experiences and vocabularies of social transformation from their respective backgrounds. 

Seminar The Demon of Comparisons with Michele Faguet, Patrick D. Flores, Vit Havranek, Hiroshi Yoshioka, Ahmad bin Mashadi, David Riff 
Saturday 4 April 2009
, 11:00-18:00 at Doelenzaal, University of Amsterdam (Singel 421-427, 1012 WP Amsterdam)
Curated by Cosmin Costinas in collaboration with Kyongfa Che and Binna Choi.

The seminar is conceived of as a space for dialogue among a number of writers, researchers, philosophers and curators who in their practice have been committed to questioning underlying processes of history writing in a shifting canon and a changing geography of artistic practice. Working on narratives and practices that lie on the borders of a (Western) canonic representation of art and its political dimensions, often at the fault line between forms of modernism, avant-garde urgencies and the articulations of the political in the different cultural landscapes they are interested in, the speakers share an interest in the critical tools to be employed in their endeavors. Focusing on spaces with histories as different as Latin America, Eastern Europe and South East Asia, the seminar will explore the ambivalence of comparative approaches, with all their strategic promises and critical traps. 

The Antagonistic Link 

Mixrice, Hwa Yeon Nam, Nam June Paik, Sasa [44] with Sulki & Min
Curated by Binna Choi
Opening: Saturday 28 March, 17.00 with a first staging of the writing and performance series 
Ongoing propositions under different conditions, conducted by theorist and writer Sönke Hallmann and artist Achim Lengerer. 

The Antagonistic Link is an experimental setting for drawing transnational links in the form of an agonistic process that assumes the opposing parties to be in a state of conflicting coexistence. The Antagonistic Link uses 'Bye Bye Kipling', a historical satellite event conceived by Nam June Paik in 1986, as a point of departure. The exhibition combines this piece with three other projects initiated by artists and designers from South Korea, as well as other related activities. All these works explore the constructive possibilities of overcoming the sense of distance and antagonism that is the paradoxical product of advancing globalization. 

"East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet", the first line of The Ballad of East and West, a poem by Rudyard Kipling, opens up Paik's live satellite link-up of Japan, Korea and the United States – a broadcast featuring different sorts of cultural events and performances. Paik designed and coordinated the event with the intention of countering this poetic declaration (which, to be fair, is also undermined in the rest of Kipling's poem as he suggests that individuals are capable of this after all). The video is a shorter edit of the original broadcast and reveals various ironic and fractious moments in such a linkage. This may be a starting point for questioning the complexities and contradictions inherent in today's communication channels and global links — an inquiry that neither denies nor blithely celebrates the possibilities of transnational connection. 

Malmö Konsthall

Haris Epaminonda (Born 1980, Cyprus. Lives and works in Berlin) works mainly with collage, video and photography. The point of departure for her paper collages is found material from books and magazines from the 1950s and 60s. Her videos are composed out of disparate found filmfootage as well as the artist's own filmed sequences.

Epaminonda's moving images are in many instances overlapping or juxtaposed with one another so that threads of potential meaning (political utopias, gender, cultures of collecting) weave in and out of each other and thus evoke a dreamlike distant world. In the 1950s and 1960s, from which the found footage often derives, the idea of progress and fascination for the future seemed filled with both hope and fear, and Epaminonda's work moves between a real and a potential or illusory past/future. This creates a poetic, surreal and uncanny maze as if the found and reworked material is a loophole in time.

The exhibition, VOL. I, II & III, at Malmö Konsthall will be the first large solo exhibition by Haris Epaminonda in northern Europe. The exhibition is divided, as the title indicates, into three parts. The three parts consist of two separated spaces in Malmö Konsthall and a book produced for the exhibition.

VOL. I is a book containing approximately 120 Polaroid images, which is 1/3 of the 365 Polaroids Epaminonda has taken since 2008. She has re-photographed images from books and magazines, details of images, places, situations and collections, with an instant Polaroid camera. The many images make the book appear as a photo album done by a well-travelled traveller, artist, anthropologist or simply a tourist with the ambition of becoming just that – a traveller, artist or anthropologist. Today Polaroid films are not produced anymore and the factories were shut down in February 2008, so the nostalgic instant film era ended after 62 years. 

VOL. II & III consist of two installations, attempting to transform the two Malmö Konsthall spaces into a kind of 'theatre of the world'. The installations will appear as 'rooms of wonder' consisting of an assembly of images, plinths, objects – such as ostrich eggs – and sculptures that aspire to envision a shadow realm, offering an enigmatic puzzle that insists to remain unnamed and unresolved. Intimate space is confronted with the surreal.

Both VOL. II & III will play with the institutional notion of the museum and of display. The spaces will attempt to juxtapose the highly modern and the ancient as compressed time, compressed memory, compressed dream-like fiction within sculptures and images.

Haris Epaminonda studied at the Royal College of Art and Kingston University, London. She represented Cyprus at the 52nd Venice Biennial (2007) and took part at the 5th Berlin Biennial, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2008) as well as the 9th Sharjah Biennale, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2009).






Monday, March 23, 2009

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Around the Bend

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents Themes and Variations: From the Mark to Zero, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero. This exhibition draws upon the museum's permanent collections from the early 20th century to the post World War II period, enriched by loans from other collections. It charts the progress of the pictorial mark chronologically and thematically: from typography to collage, from letters to numbers, to the iteration of gesture, of signs, eventually sublimating into monochrome, beyond which the only possible condition is the void. As a 'variation' of this theme, the exhibition includes a one-man show of painting by British artist Jason Martin. Martin, one of the most creative young British artists of his generation, has been invited to interpret grade zero with a series of canvases specifically created for this exhibition, a sequence of monochromes, refined in texture and luminous in tone, poised between painting and sculpture. Themes and Variations: From the Mark to Zero benefits from the support of the Regione del Veneto. 

Works of Cubism, Futurism, Dada and Surrealism: within the radical experimentation of this explosive period, letters, numbers and the printed word participate as full players in the creative process—plucked from the real world, manipulated and then rendered with their original linguistic and communicative dimensions still intact. From the works by Carrà, Schwitters, Cornell, to the new grammars of a similar language in the 50s by Rotella and Spoerri, the printed word structures and defines images but with a resonance that convulses the visual syntax. On the one hand language dialogues with 
matière and image, as in Braque's multi-media works and the collages of Gris; on the other, the grid laid down by Mondrian's repetitive marks creates the new space of Vantongerloo's Neoplasticism, which in turn nourishes the minimal precision of John McCracken. Basic units of language evocatively colonize the surfaces of works by Tunnard, Licini and Bonfanti to the point they become mute writing. Sometimes the act of painting transforms into a form of scripture, on canvas or any other supports; at other times, artists investigate the foundations and responsiveness of different visual codes.

Writing is also geometry or color, rendered in the lyrical, intermittent and visionary spaces of Tancredi, Tobey, Accardi. Elsewhere script and writing merge in an abstract and symbolic punctuation, expressed in apostrophes and dots that may visually or physically violate the support itself, with holes and cuts, as in the canvases of Fontana and Dadamaino, and in the work of the most recent generation of artists, represented here by De Marchi and Arcangelo Sassolino.

The obsessive repetition of a symbol or a sign leads ultimately to a condition of zero, a kind of tabula rasa in which pure paint combines with a minimal and monochrome surface: from Castellani to Bonalumi, from Vianello to Charlton, the monochrome inscribes the infinite into the finite and is articulated in densely painted and plastic works with the concreteness and physicality that derive from their relation to surrounding space.

Centre d'art de Fribourg- Kunsthalle Freiburg

"Lapses" is an accumulation of fragments of a whole piece that is irremediably not on view, calling on a mental mode of image production, always encouraging us to consider the absences, the possibility of disappearance as well as appearance. The missing and yet crucial object would be the cinema format for its perfect, complete, finished quality, maybe too because the cinema is also the "art of bringing back ghosts"* and with various spectres providing the internal linkage in this exhibition.

Photographs of nameless people, family snaps made to work together in a subjective way by Céline Duval, focus on the very notion of forgetting and at the same time on the scenes we are given to see. Although its form almost is systematically diverted from completeness, the film is central to the work of Gabriel Lester: like the installations, the filmed sequences leave the viewer with the indeterminacy of stage-sets in a state of suspension and films cut into pieces. The works of Marcelline Delbecq lay the emphasis on writing; the text is written or carried by the voice, which is the organ of the invisible 
par excellence — whether her own or someone else's (Kim Gordon, Elina Löwensohn) —shaping sequences in which there is a precise balance between what is revealed and what is kept secret. The literary formper se involves this tension, this balance, and this show is regularly populated by literary figures; taking the form of an evocation in the fragmentary installations of Dagmar Heppner, literature can become a medium in those of David Hominal. The subtle use of disappearances and appearances fosters a suspended awareness, the projection of the imaginary onto the invisible.
*Jacques Derrida in 
Ghost Dance, a Ken McMullen film, 1983

Thursday, March 19, 2009


his year's ART COLOGNE will welcome its visitors with a very special presentation. In the entry area of the fair, visitors will see selected top-class sculptures that will give them an impression of the general situation of the current art market and of the 43rd staging of the largest art fair in Germany.

All together thirteen works will greet the visitors in the entrance hall of ART COLOGNE and in the outdoor area around the building, thus acting as representative images of the event.

Visitors will first see relatively traditional sculptures by artists such as Bernar Venet (*1941) and Paul Schwer (*1951) as they approach the entrance door, then encounter a sculpture of the fallen Icarus by Stephan Balkenhol (*1957), a work that speaks for itself and for our time. As they step into the entrance hall, they will be confronted by a confusing group of signs created by Claus Richter (*1971) that point out a wide range of directions they can take in their thinking as well as their tours of the fair. After passing a catwalk created by Kalaman (*1966) which the artist himself will animate at the opening of the fair, they will once again approach sculptures reflecting a more classic style. They'll have to walk across a space that is shared by several abstract sculptures by Jan Scharellmann (*1975) before arriving at works by masters of modern sculpture such as Tony Cragg (*1949), Keith Sonnier (*1941) and Daniel Spoerri (*1930). On the outskirts of this exhibition they'll be surprised by a subtle comment in sculptural form by Damien Roach (*1980) before they reach the entrance gates of the exhibition area proper. But as the visitors move toward the main exhibition halls, two further contemporary sculptures will be waiting to accompany them to the fair. Florian Baudrexel (*1968) lends a new dimension to the traditional concept of a relief sculpture, and Bas de Wit (*1977) presents figurative sculpture from his own idiosyncratic point of view. This mixture of works from diverse areas of the sculptor's art reflects the broad range of themes and approaches in the contemporary art market. Through this sculpture project, ART COLOGNE 2009 directs visitors' attention to past, present and future approaches to art and encourages them to reconsider their own ideas about art as they contemplate the individual works.

Hangar Bicocca

Curated by Serena Cattaneo Adorno

McCall's "solid light" series began in 1973 with 
Line Describing a Cone. Most of the series has been horizontal in orientation. But since 2004, he has also been developing installations which explore height and verticality. This exhibition will present six of these works, only one of which has been exhibited before. They include Breath I (2004), Breath II (2004), Breath III (2005), Between You and I (2006),Coupling (2009) and, commissioned specifically for Hangar Bicocca, Meeting you Halfway (2009).

The series demonstrates McCall's multi-disciplinary practice, where the fusing of installation, film, sculpture and performance creates a dialogue with the vast industrial space of Hangar Bicocca.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with a critical text by Hal Foster published by Edizioni Corraini, Mantova and available from April 2009.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Born in Britain to Nigerian parents, Yinka Shonibare, MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) is recognized internationally for his provocative sculptural installations, photographs and films that speak to cultural myths and misinterpretations of colonialism. 

The exhibition represents the artist's first U.S. solo show west of the Mississippi, and features works from 1999 to the present. The title installation, 
A Flying Machine for Every Man, Woman and Child, depicts an idyllic family riding human-powered flying machines modeled after 19th century drawings, alluding to the continual freedom sought by emigrants and tourists alike. Also included is a selection of works from prominent West Coast collections, as well as several recent works. 

Best known is the artist's sculptural work, which presents headless mannequins clothed in Victorian era dress made from atypical fabrics-brightly colored, wax-printed cloths commonly identified as African batiks. Essential to the work's meaning is the use of textiles strongly associated with Africa yet originally produced in Europe and sold to Africans by Dutch traders in the 19th century. In an interview with Jan Garden Castro for 
Sculpture Magazine in 2006, Shonibare commented on his intentional, neatly headless creations, "…Basically it started as a joke, because I take working class fabrics from Africa and dress the aristocracy in those fabrics and then I take their heads off, but there's no blood or violence. It's witty in a knowing sort of way."

The exhibition continues to underscore ideas of colonialism and subjugation with Shonibare's model of the famous, ill-fated French frigate 
Méduse (Medusa, in English), outfitted with Dutch batik sails and menaced by an artificial wave. An enormous C-print photograph of the miniature ship and tempest hangs on the wall next to the vitrine. The notorious incident of the Méduse was recaptured several years later in French painter, Théodore Géricault's iconic masterpiece, Le Radeau de la Méduse (The Raft of the Medusa), 1818-19. Like much of Shonibare's works, Le Méduse plays off of grand artistic traditions in many compelling ways.

The exhibition is punctuated by the presentation of Shonibare's first film in which the artist continues his quest to question power in relation to race, gender, and history. 
Un Ballo in Maschera (a Masked Ball) 2004 presents the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden in 1792 through the medium of dance. The characters don Shonibare's trademark African batiks but remain ambiguous in identity and sometimes gender. 

Kunstverein Hannover / Frankfurter Kunstverein

The Kunstverein Hannover and the Frankfurter Kunstverein present the first comprehensive solo show of Danish artist Simon Dybbroe Møller (*1976, Århus) in Germany. 

Simon Dybbroe Møller subjects twentieth-century avant-garde to a subjective revision in his work. His installations, photographs and films allude to a seemingly astonishing precision in the accidental; convey by transformation, manipulation or mirroring, a mystical aura to the putatively logical. 

He is interested in the failures and peripheries of recent art history and combines individual fragments in order to construe new references or to lay emphasis on forgotten protagonists and bypaths. A side of modernism emerges behind the smooth, clear, and rationalist façade of abstract and conceptual art that already Sol LeWitt noted in his Sentences on Conceptual Art when he wrote: "We are mystics rather than rationalists."

CURATED BY: René Zechlin and Katja Schroeder

SPONSORS: "Kompendium" at Kunstverein Hannover is made possible by the kind support of the country of lower saxony, the Sparkasse Hannover and the Niedersächsische Sparkassen foundation. "Appendix" at Frankfurter Kunstverein is kindly supported by the Danish Arts Council, the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen and the Naspa Stiftung "Initiative und Leistung".

CATALOGUE: The catalogue including texts by Ferdinand Ahm Krag, Matthew Brannon, Brian O'Connel, Sam Frank, Christian Höller, Peter Laugesen, Thomas Meinecke, Katja Schroeder, Lumi Tan and René Zechlin is published by Sternberg Press and will be released on 17th April.



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Liliana Porter

Liliana Porter, a New York-based artist of Argentinean origins, draws from 
her extensive collection of souvenirs, toys, functional knickknacks and 
figurines in the creation of her work. In photographs, video, and prints, 
Porter represents these figures in various scenarios that, with masterful
simplicity, distill life into its basic elements, at once playful and tragic. For 
this exhibition she will also create 3-D situations, using the actual
objects in live dialogue.

Porter typically places two or more objects together to create unexpec-
ted encounters. Decontextualized against white or black backgrounds, 
the objects shed their standard identities and acquire a poignant 
humanness. Minnie Mouse kisses Che Guevara's portrait on a plate, two 
choirboy candles sing with a plastic bluebird, and a toy soldier shoots at 
a fat piggy bank. These mass produced kitsch objects become characters
we empathize and identify with, actors that elicit and exude emotion in 
mini dramas about life, love, longing, and loss. In her dialogue of 
differences, she declassifies and subverts the visual order of things, 
reconstructing contexts to deconstruct meaning.