Posted: April 8th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: aggregation, contemporary art | No Comments »
Hello and welcome to another round up of art-related links culled from the last seven days:
- Here’s a piece about death etiquette from the Guardian. Did have a link to the Heffner song, but paranoia struck.
- Film critics are generally more greatly missed that politicians anyway. Here’s a kind letter the late Roger Ebert sent to once very young fan Dana Stevens, now movie critic at Slate
- Unequivocal good news: the rebuilding of the Rijksmuseum is a triumph. Enjoy this spacious look around with @FisunGuner from The Arts Desk
- Der Spiegel writes about the growing importance of the cultural sector in Amsterdam and European cities beyond
- @cmonstah flagged up a shocking interview with architect Denise Scott Brown. If you didn’t know much about her, here’s why…
- When rural idylls go bad… the Guardian report from the trial of Graham Ovenden, the 70-year-old artist accused of child abuse
- Unicorn chaser might be needed after that. How about this daft contraption for sending emails via your flying V guitar
- Smithson write up a design history of the chess set. Could the game be making a comeback? Well, with a bit of help from Pentagram…perhaps
- Whether or not you like contemporary dance, this deserves a look. Dancer with osteoporosis Claire Cunningham incorporates crutches into her performance
- Reading Ben Street on painting is a close second best to actually looking at painting. Take this essay on Kiera Bennett, for example.
Posted: April 1st, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: aggregation, contemporary art | No Comments »
Happy Easter/April Fool’s Day/interminable winter. Here are some seasonable links from the online world of art:
- What might happen if Guernica came back to Britain today? Nigel Wheale writes an intriguing account of the painting’s first and last visit to these shores
- He lives in NYC, goes to 30 exhibitions a week, and still critic Jerry Saltz worries he might be getting out of touch. Read his alarming piece on the death of gallery shows
- An artist makes a very strong statement as to why she should never have to make another artist’s statements. A must read for practitioners everywhere from Hyperallergic
- Ruth Ewan gives Radio 4 a truly Utopian vision, even if it does get a little far fetched towards the end. But that’s what comes of working with teenagers (via @StudioVoltaire)
- Beautiful/Decay write up a Dutch sound sculpture which takes on an aspect of Eindhoven’s history of manufacturing. Features musical cigars
- It’s not quite kittens in boots, but We Make Money Not Art couldn’t resist these photos of dogs in cars, and neither could I
- Here’s another piece of spectacle: two famous Nick Caves come face to face in New York where one was staging an art performance the other a rock music gig
- So as to get anything done, the only way I enjoy console games is vicariously. But this YouTube review of BioShock Infinite could tempt anyone
- The strange story of the week was that a Picasso through which owner Steve Wynn had once put his elbow sold for more than he paid for it. See The Independent
- If you’re younger than 70 and you still haven’t made it in the art world, do not despair. Art Info notes a trend for pension-age breakthroughs by no less than six now well known artists.
Posted: March 29th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: contemporary art, performance art, rock music | No Comments »
One of the best opening paragraphs I know is found in Great Jones Street by Don DeLillo. The novel meditates on a certain type of fame distinct from that enjoyed by either statesmen or kings.
No, this type of fame, “a devouring neon”, involves: “Hysteria in limousines, knife fights in the audience, bizarre litigation, treachery, pandemonium and drugs.” Yes, it is a book about a rock star.
Artist David Lamelas would surely recognise this checklist. It is all there in this work in which he appropriated the spotlight from a field of endeavour completely different to the visual arts.
The Argentine sculptor has dressed down for his role, borrowed a guitar and stolen the stage from an act like the Doors or Creedence Clearwater Revival, certainly something rootsy or bluesy.
In other words he attempts something authentic, because rock is obsessed with this quality. Its stars are queuing up to prove their convictions with overdoses, dependency issues and disappearances.
Lamelas makes a series of these photos, which serve as a record of a performative frenzy that never was. He pulls it off without having to compose, to practice, to endure life on the road.
“If the purpose of the photographs was to explore an element of fantasy, they were a triumph. Although his rock star was a cliché, he was totally convincing,” writes Stuart Morgan in Frieze.
But the results work on the viewer in a strange kind of silence. They cast us as fans, and extrapolate us as if we were in the pit of an auditorium, shoulder to shoulder, with hundreds.
Cue difference between rock and art, between the sharing of a ritual and the private consumption of a thing of beauty. Rock Star harks back to a neolithic time when no distinction could be made.
There’s a big trade in photos like this of real musicians. They adorn the walls of well-to-do fans who have outgrown their student posters. Why not? It’s an aesthetic choice you can’t argue with.
Yet with sculptural rigour, Lamelas has distilled a whole genre of music to a partially seen figure in the darkness with two props and a glaring light. Like Brancusi, he gives us the essential.
The entire Rock Star series can be seen in Glam! Performance of Style at Tate Liverpool until 12 May 2013. See gallery website for more details and read the words of a completely inimitable rock star from the Glam era: Noddy Holder from Slade, interviewed by the Guardian.
Posted: March 25th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: 20th century, murals | No Comments »
This weekend, I was on assignment in Derry-Londonderry, UK City of Culture 2013. I’ll write about the gallery going elsewhere, and for the time being post a few photos of politically charged street art.
Above is a mural on the wall of the Museum of Free Derry. Behind the subject and the illustrated bullet holes you can see a real rifle shot taken by the wall at the time of Bloody Sunday.
It’s not a strand of history they taught at my secondary school, but between 1969 and 1972 the Catholic inhabitants of Bogside established themselves as a state within a state.
This was Ireland’s taste of the times that were a-changing, a militant civil rights movement which drew inspiration from the Prague Spring and the steps made towards racial equality by Martin Luther King.
But on 30 January1972, British paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights March killing 13 people. This mural is based on the iconic photo of Father Edward Daly waving a blood stained white handkerchief.
Ultimately, the Bogside residents’ rent strike, rates strike and general insurrection proved too much for the government. Tanks were sent to clear the barricades and this mural depicts that operation.
To the local community and with varying degrees of optimism, Free Derry was a place in time on a par with Cuba after the revolution or Palestine as is today. (Che could have played football for Eire.)
Here you can see a rendering of Guernica on the wall of the Museum of Free Derry. Staffed by relatives of victims of the conflict, this great little museum is soon to be expanded.
Pictured above, and 60 miles away in Belfast, Picasso’s masterpiece gets a more faithful tribute, except this time with the inclusion of an inset featuring Hugo Chavez.
This was also on the Falls Road, an image of Ciaran Nugent, first political prisoner to go on a blanket protest against the implications of a prison uniform.
You can see Belfast is a bit more confrontational than Derry. The mural on the right carries an ad for the West Belfast Taxi Association, which has roots in the Catholic community.
But the cab which took me round the mean streets of Belfast was not WBTA. This may or may not have provoked our snowball attacks by local kids. No harm done.
I don’t want to give the impression that Nationalist murals are the only show in town. There are plenty of blogworthy paintings by Unionists. I just didn’t get the pictures.
It was a fantastic weekend, and I can only end on a positive note. Below is a mural of Belfast pub life in a courtyard across from the Duke of York. Do raise a glass to the future of both cities.
Posted: March 18th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: aggregation, contemporary art | No Comments »
Salutations. This week’s art links are the usual mix between the topical and the wondrous.
- Topical: Here’s a sad story about the death of young Dominic Elliott, friend and assistant to David Hockney. The Independent reports.
- Also topical: the Guardian send music critic Alexis Petridis to review the record-breaking Bowie show at the V&A.
- Highly topical: a social minded architect from Japan has won the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Read about Toyo Ito in the New York Times.
- Sadly topical: the Guardian suggests that an education secretary who doesn’t like architecture very much could learn a thing or two from Oscar Niemeyer.
- Also with news currency, the Art Newspaper report that US has taken back the topspot in terms of art sales, from China (via Art Observed)
- Here’s something wondrous: photos of a lightning storm during the eruption of a volcano in Japan. Animal NY collates.
- Also quite cool to look at is this slide show of cowboy rephotographs by Richard Prince together with a Western soundtrack. This is almost not ironic.
- This is link of the week: Beautiful/Decay showcases the work of Gabriele Galinberti, who shoots portraits of kids along with their most prized possessions.
- Quietly wondrous: Art Wednesday interviews Polly Staple from Chisenhale Gallery. Amazing role call of debut shows.
- And very much finally. This photo of confiscated bootleg pharmaceuticals in China is both topical and wondrous. Thanks to Der Spiegel.
Posted: March 15th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: contemporary art, sound art | No Comments »
Given the vast technological resources made available to those who wish to explore outer space, an analogue vinyl album seems like a less than adequate way to respond to the cosmos.
But in fact Yird Muin Starn is comprehensive in its dealings with such matters as star constellations, the Apollo missions, lunar cycles, the Pioneer probe and supersonic air travel.
The LP opens with a spoken word account of the landing of the Possil meteorite, which fell on the outskirts of Glasgow in 1804. So space cannot be ignored even if you were a 19th century Scot.
Other standout tracks include an Old Scots poem called Tae the Moon, which reads brilliantly even if a bit incomprehensible at time. Yird Muin Starn transates as Earth, Moon, Stars.
Flying to the Sun is just as witty. McIntosh’s vocal gets out of sync until Matthew’s drops a stalking bassline on the track. This underpins the humorous narrative of an eight year voyage to the sun.
Elsewhere vocals take a back seat to make way for instrumental tracks such as Betelgeuse to Rigel, Star Stream or Seven Sisters. These sound improvised or generative, whether they be or no.
Penetrating tones, solar wind interference, electrons rattling in a tube, re-entry static, early home computing tones, liquid silver: these are all the impressions which Yird Muin Starn leaves you with.
The album may be challenging at times, but it is never without humour and interest. You can learn much from this collaboration between artists Matthews and McIntosh.
You may not have been aware that the moon is slowly working its way free of our orbit; or that the woman on the pioneer plaque is missing an intimate part of her anatomy. I hope both facts are true.
But when you’re strapped for cash, you need a bit humour to explore outer space with. Yird Muin Starn also gives its name to a public artwork by the duo in Galloway Forest.
This site is Europe’s first Sky Park, with zero light polution and reclining Sky gazers where you can sit back and voyage to your hearts content. There are even space suits you can book out.
It sounds like the most fun you could have with someone else’s clothes on. Were this blog not composed in South East England, I’d be there like a shot, with headphones rather than a telescope.
Yird Moon Starn, the album is available from the Annette Works label. More info on the project can be found here.
Posted: March 13th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: contemporary art, mass media, sculpture | No Comments »
It’s a freedom of speech issue. If you are a global corporation like IKEA you can afford to take out a full page in a national broadsheet. If you are a little known artist you can barely afford to reply.
What IKEA tells us some 200,000 times at a go is that Harry’s passion now runs to several metres: “Harry’s passion for music has reached new levels,” the headline informs us, “Floor to ceiling.”
In other words, his record collection has been housed by the Swedish furnishers. There he stands, stunned by his newfound archive, his one passion definitively domesticated.
Nevermind that Harry doesn’t exist. He is an arbitrary name pinned on an aspirational model. The headline is a lie or a fiction; there should be no place for either in the Guardian.
Bartlett’s response is to the claim is to rip out the page and recontextualise it. So Harry’s new place of residence is taped onto a disassembled and upturned IKEA table in a non commercial art gallery.
If it wasn’t already clear where to look, Bartlett has sheathed a wooden stick in foil and pointed it in the direction of Harry, whose only aim in life is to entomb himself in vinyl.
Bartlett describes himself as a sculptor and treats the daily paper as a 3D object. His work relates to both the everyday materials of Arte Povera and Gustav Metzger’s engagement with Page Three.
What both artists demonstrate is how little mass media can survive scrutiny in an art gallery, be that the hallowed chambers of the RA or the down at heel basement premises of CAC.
This is surely payback for all the nausea of consuming media. The Harry ad is not half as smart as it thinks it is. But at least some dozen visitors to a Brighton gallery can see that for what it is.
Disclosure: Bartlett describes himself as an anti-copywriter whereas I have plied the dreaded trade in earnest before now. It was inevitable that Harry and his ilk would come up at some point.
Harry from IKEA was a centrepiece at recent Work Project 7, Community Arts Centre (CAC), Brighton. It was on show last weekend only. Sad face
Posted: March 11th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: aggregation, contemporary art | 1 Comment »
Greetings from snow-gripped Brighton. Here’s my weekly selection of links better not missed:
- Firstly, everyone must see this Fox News report as discovered by Art Fag City: George W. Bush as an emerging artist
- Still Stateside, I enjoyed at least two reports about the Armory show in New York, both from Art Info: the first about a spate of freebie Warholesque Brillo Boxes, the second about some critical work by Liz Magic
- Meanwhile in the UK and on the pages of The Telegraph, Mark Hudson muses on the fact that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been urged to collect contemporary art. But of course, they would have to buy British
- Another state of the nation type link: an iconic Picasso currently on show at the Courtauld is due to leave these shores for Qatar. Story in the Independent
- Obligatory reference to Bowie coming right up: Jon Savage writes in the Guardian about a historic meeting between the other worldly singer and William Burroughs
- Fans of Twitter and/or great writing would do well to follow @tejucole. Here’s an interview with the Nigerian/American micro-blogger and novelist from Mother Jones (Thanks @johannhari101)
- Meaning to see this show, but in the meantime there’s a positive review with some great unearthed quotes on art-Corpus: Carl Andre at Turner Contemporary
- This must be every art buff’s dream. The curatorial team at the Met bought a $700 dollar copy of a painting by David. But not before spotting it was a preparatory sketch worth six figures
- Phaidon write up a new piece of public art in Hyde Park. Two precarious rocks by Fischli and Weiss on show for the time being outside Serpentine
- Not content with mining uranium, uranium miners in Australia are threatening much celebrated sites of Aboriginal rock art. The Guardian reports.
Posted: March 7th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: contemporary art, film installation, geopolitics, marxism | No Comments »
Left-leaning liberals from middle class homes should hate the discourse which runs through Final Machine by Amanda Beech. Instead it could give them a masochistic thrill.
The action runs fast, the soundtrack faster. This is punctuated by gunshots, not always easy or even possible to follow the arguments. But you catch enough to get the gist.
Here is a celebration of black ops. There is a justification of real politik. The American drawl adds to the flavour of tooled up expediency. Everything we know is wrong, in the world of this piece at least.
But no one should be surprised if we have had to leave some of our humanistic tendencies at the door of LGP. The script, for there is a lengthy one, comes in part from CIA training lectures.
And it’s been sliced together with the text of a book by philosopher Louis Althusser. So they might even trick you into signing up. Come for the Marxist theory; stay for the right wing coups.
Visually the piece is just as enticing/compelling. It unfolds on three consecutive screens: red, amber, green, just as if arranged to programme us to GO.
Because you will see things you won’t forget: RVs gathering to sinister purpose in the Mojave desert, modernist architecture lost in unspecified jungle, a highway running through nocturnal Miami.
The impression of spy craft is enhanced by the visual motif of the moving circle behind which the action unfolds. You half expect a corrupt, brutally pragmatic Bond to appear with revolver in hand.
He doesn’t but the piece goes on. The bullet reports are exhilarating: perhaps not meant for us, at least not yet. Movie goers will side with anyone, given enough aural popcorn and visual punch.
Final Machine can be seen at Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, until 31 March. See gallery website for more details.
Posted: March 4th, 2013 | Author: Mark Sheerin | Filed under: aggregation, contemporary art | 1 Comment »
Here are the week’s most interesting art links as chosen entirely subjectively:
- After finding horsemeat in ready meals, one wonders which artworks might be contaminated. Fortunately The L-Magazine has checked the situation out.
- Well, this looks entirely brilliant, perhaps inadvertently so: a breathing statue of Lenin has gone on show in Moscow.
- New York Times gives a decent write up of a Cyprien Gaillard show, decent in as much as it contains gloomy visual poetry.
- Still in NY, it might be worth checking out Andrew Sendor at Sperone Westwater. Art historian Ben Street has good things to say about the artist.
- Meanwhile, we in the UK have Manet at the RA, which is slated by The Flaneur who point out, quite reasonably, that a certain amount of contextual gossip would not have gone amiss.
- Such to-ings and fro-ings are well represented by a new show in Washington DC. Daily Serving reports on the links between Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet and Alfonso Ossono.
- Gossip in Bridlington meanwhile may well revolve around the fact that famous son David Hockney is reluctant to receive the freedom of his Yorkshire town.
- Another story from the Independent finds Dominic Lawson arguing against free admission for galleries and museums. Arts mafia paranoia.
- In another engaging think piece, Jonathan Jones gets upset about the mere thought of a statue of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
- If you remember a band called 23 Skidoo you too might get upset about that woman, but are liable to find this piece about painter William Turnbull of great interest.