Here are images of exhibitions I have visited recently and artists whose work informs my practice.
Aleksandra Domanovic- Tanya Leighton Gallery: http://www.tanyaleighton.com/index.php?pageId=445&l=en, “Aleksandra Domanović’s work is concerned with the circulation and reception of images and information, particularly as they shift meaning and change register, traversing different contexts and historical circumstances. Her works create strange taxonomies and manic associative chains that poke and prod at copyright laws, unpack the geopolitical implications of web domains, or explore, for instance, the model of exhibitions (the co-creation of the collaborative exhibition platform” at the Sunday Art Fair in October 2012
Caline Aoun’s `At a Glance, 009′- Liquid Space at Nettie Horn, 2011: http://www.nettiehorn.com/LiquidSpace.html,
“Caline Aoun’s recent works originate essentially from the manipulation of material and the systems used to communicate images and their mechanisms of transmission. In this way, Aoun exceeds and diverts the functions of digital equipment such as printers to which she inflicts manual “dis-manipulations” and malfunctions such as force-feeding paper or blocking the plotter’s suction in order to exploit ways of subverting certain effects onto the image (such as saturation). By addressing and disrupting the mechanics of creation and representation of images, Aoun explores the processes through which these images appear and ultimately questions the idea of technical failure. She plays with the energy of an executional system to create “non images” where paradoxically sophisticated and spectral fields of colour are superimposed onto one another.”
Matt Bryant- currently showing at Kate MacGarry Gallery- this piece, erased landscape in particular, but his fragment pieces are also important for informing my work: http://www.katemacgarry.com/artists/matt-bryans//
Bernardo Ortiz, Casa Riegner Gallery, Columbian artist concerned with traces of time: particularly interesting to me is his presentation of work: http://www.casasriegner.com/2011/exhibitions/bernardo-ortiz-dibujos/- seen at Frieze 2012
“Casas Riegner is pleased to present the first solo show by Colombian artist Bernardo Ortiz, Dibujos. For most people, time is such a natural phenomenon, that we are not aware that it is constantly passing by and that every minute that comes is different to the one before. Every moment comes and goes without major consideration on our part. For Bernardo Ortiz, however, time is the object of an obsession that has turned into an accumulation of notepads, drawings and notes. Is it a need to leave a trace of what just happened and not let it go unnoticed.”
Christiane Baumgartner- woodcuts,Alan Cristea Gallery: http://www.alancristea.com/artist-Christiane-Baumgartner
“Christiane Baumgartner was born in 1967 in Leipzig, Germany, and studied there at the Hochschule fur Grafik und Buchkunst before completing her Masters in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London in 1999. She now lives and works in Leipzig. Baumgartner is best known for the monumental woodcuts based on her own films and video stills.”
“American artist Vija Celmins is part of a generation of artists, in particular those based in Los Angeles during the 1960s, who made work using found images. Celmins repeatedly returns to the same images to produce intricate desert scenes, star-filled night skies, oceans and cobwebs. In her prints and drawings she explores traditional printing techniques and the material density of charcoal, graphite and ink. She comments:
The images are not from observations of nature, but are ’found images’ from old magazines, books and photos. Thus they are already flattened and a step removed from nature. In my work, the information they hold is re-told and given a new life in a new context. Where Turner found light and color so inspirational, I have tended to drift toward an exploration of darkness. The material I have used has pushed me in that direction.
For this display the artist has selected four unique drawings and related prints from the ARTIST ROOMS collection. In the next room, Vija Celmins has selected works on paper by J.M.W. Turner to coincide with the presentation of her own work.”
I first saw her work at the Hayward Gallery exhibition, The Russian Linesman, curated by Mark Wallinger- then I went to see her solo exhibition at Laura Bartlett Gallery 2012
“Mute, restrained objects and photographs; eloquent but evasive literary references”
Trevor Paglen- http://www.paglen.com/- saw his work at the Tate photography exhibition Exposed: Surveillance, Voyeurism and the camera- and then went to see his solo show, Geographies of Seeing at the Lighthouse, Brighton Photo biennial 2012- interested in the subliminal/ surveillance content of his work
“terra incognitaA vast expanse of unanchored time and space located somewhere between the edge of realism and the edge of abstraction. This is a place called lost in which the world has become larger than my knowledge of it and I am bereft of the ability to navigate. Here the landscape is not solid rock, it is made out of memory, indelible impressions and bruises visible only as terra incognita.”
Breugel Project/ Casa Malaparte- Setting the Scene, Level 4- Tate Britain
Interested in processes which are purely chemical or alchemical- no need for a camera to produce:
“Susan Derges (born London, England, 1955) studied painting at Chelsea School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She then lived in Japan for six years, before returning to the UK in 1986. Her images reveal the hidden forces of nature, from the patterns of sound waves to the flow of rivers.
During the 1990s, Derges became well known for her photograms of water. To make these works, she used the landscape at night as her darkroom, submerging large sheets of photographic paper in rivers and using the moon and flashlight to create the exposure.
Within seeming chaos, Derges conveys a sense of wonder at the underlying orderliness. She examines the threshold between two interconnected worlds: an internal, imaginative or contemplative space and the external, dynamic, magical world of nature. Her works can be seen as alchemical, transformative acts that test the threshold between matter and spirit.”
“In our spring exhibition, American artist Zoe Leonard harnesses a natural phenomenon to think about ways of looking, recording and experiencing time and space. Across all the galleries this major exhibition engages three distinct forms of photography and transforms one of the spaces into a camera obscura. Daylight filters in through a lens, projecting an image of the world outside onto the floor, walls and ceiling. This work invites comparisons with film and video as the light source changes throughout the day, giving rise to a continually shifting, immersive and cinematic event.
The camera obscura (dark chamber) is a naturally occurring phenomenon that has been used since antiquity as a tool to understand the behaviour of light. The experience of Leonard’s installation is durational and as such invites comparisons with film and video. As the ephemeral panorama unravels continually inside the space, attention is drawn to the shifts in movement and light – some barely perceptible, some dramatic.”
Sobra- Geraldo de Barros
As artist in residence, Stuart Whipps researched and visited the shale bings of West Lothian – the object of study during John Latham’s APG placement with the Scottish Office Development Agency from 1975-76. Stuart is mapping the connections between Latham and other historical protagonists including James “Paraffin” Young, who was the first to refine mineral oil on a commercial scale. This process left behind the shale heap bings of West Lothian and financed David Livingstone’s “explorations” of Zambia – Latham’s birthplace. Stuart’s work aligns multiple temporalities and geological monuments with the contemporary moment through his photographs and text.
Ruins in Reverse in the Project Space in Tate Modern (March 1st opened)
Tate Modern and Museo de Arte de Lima-MALI, one of Peru’s most important museums, have come together to curate a new exhibition as part of Project Space, Tate’s dedicated space for presenting emerging and recently established international artists. Re-thinking the traditional divide between historical monuments and discarded urban ruins, artists Rä di Martino, Pablo Hare, José Carlos Martinat, Haroon Mirza, Eliana Otta and Amalia Pica are brought together to explore contemporary ideas of archaeology, fiction and reality.
This thematic display looks at continuities in the way artists have framed our vision of the landscape over the last 300 years. Coinciding with the re-opening of all Tate Britain’s galleries, the selection finds surprising coincidences and remarkable affinities in the way we look at the view, whether near or afar, high or low, from inside or out. Over seventy works by more than fifty artists are included, including familiar names such as J.M.W. Turner and Tracey Emin as well as lesser-known figures of British art history. The exhibition consists entirely of works from the Tate collection and is part of the BP British Art Displays.
Wonderful Exhibition at Gasworks by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: The Black Cave (22 Feb- 21 April 2013)
Mythologizing the landscape of Puerto Rico- Farmacopea- film focuses on particular plant species such as the toxic Hippomane Manicella (Manicheel tree) which the Puerto Rican government has sought to eradicate, greatly transforming the ecology of coastal areas- Santiago explores how the desire to render the landscape harmless contributes to the self-image that Puerto Rico wilfully promotes: an idyllic, tropical Caribbean island that somehow stands outside of history and politics. Using different strategies, the works in The Black Cave recuperate images and understandings of the Puerto Rican landscape that have quite literally been buried beneath a growingf infrastructure of transport and tourism
Another fantastic exhibition at the Drawing Room in Bermondsey (14th Feb- 6th April 2013)
Especially the work of Anna Barribal, and Sara Barker (above)- these are strips of aluminium sheeting combined with stainless steel rods, cardboard and chains to create spindly structures that jut from the wall and balance precariously on the floor- textured and multicoloured
Fantastic exhibition at Somerset House: Landmark: the Fields of Photography- ‘a major exhibition examining the importance of the landscape genre within contemporary photography.’ (exhibition catalogue)
In particular I picked out a few pieces that were particularly relevant to my work:
Daniel Beltra’s Brazil no.3 and Amazon no.10
Also an exhibition at Angus Hughes: At the Edge – http://www.angus-hughes.com/At-the-Edges
Deutsche Borse Prize at the Photographer’s Gallery (26/04/13)- a chance to see the work of Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin- brecht’s book on the second world war reworked with collaged images of the war on terror:
Went to see the Anselm Adams show at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich- interesting to see how he started as a boy influenced by pictorial photography and then became part of the modernist photographers- his images of water, especially early images of waterfalls at Yosemite, are extraordinary:
But I was particularly drawn to his image of trees underwater, and his enormous wall sized compositions- where he projected the images onto the lightsensitive paper on the wall in order to print them:
Visited the Royal Academy to see the Original Print Fair 2013- difficult to view the images as they are all bunched together on each stand. The only ones I was interested in are a tryptich by Richard Forster: Incoming sea’s edge on three consecutive occasions at random time intervals. Saltburn-by-the-Sea, January 5 2010; 11:35-11:36am, polymer photogravure (three parts), 2013:
After a crit with Dan Howard Brit and a tutorial with Oona Grimes (25/04/13), the name of Abigail Reynolds was mentioned in relation to my work. Her work at 17 gallery and use of sculptural installation pieces with books, referencing the landscape- in particular. I have now become more familiar with her work and find it really informs the questions I have about space and presentation:
Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Cage at the Barbican: http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=14075- The Bride and the Bachelors, 2013- always been interested in John Cage’s work and Rauschenberg’s transfer collages:
In August 1946 Marcel Duchamp spent a few days at the Bellevue Hotel near Chexbres (today, Le Baron Tavernier). During his stay he discovered the Forestay waterfall. The waterfall inspired Duchamp to produce Etant donnés: 1° la chute d’eau, 2° le gaz d’éclairage” (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas). It is a tableau, visible only through a pair of peep holes (one for each eye) in a wooden door, of a nude woman lying on her back with her face hidden and legs spread holding a gas lamp in the air in one hand against a landscape backdrop. The festival and the symposium will go on until June 13. It is composed of an old wooden door, bricks, velvet, twigs, a female form made of leather, glass, linoleum, an assortment of lights, a landscape composed of hand-painted and photographed elements, and an electric motor housed in a biscuit tin which rotates a perforated disc. Sculptor Maria Martins, Duchamp’s girlfriend from 1946 to 1951, served as the model for the female figure in the piece. Duchamp created the piece from 1946 to 1966 in complete secrecy in his studio in Greenwich Village, New York. The artist enlarged the prints of the photograph taken near the waterfall, cut them up, and re-arranged them eliminating any evidence of buildings. After printing it on cloth, he colored it with paint and silk.
The original of the photograph taken by Duchamp in Switzerland via NYTimes
The waterfall with the telltale name Le Forestay (forêt/forest/forst ➝ the woody) is topographically so much embedded into the surrounding landscape that it does not only spring forth from between two clearly accentuated flanks (thighs) but is also visible from the hotel through the trees, which has been said to resemble a vagina through pubic hair.” (from http://artobserved.com/2010/05/go-see-chexbres-switzerland-marcel-duchamp-and-the-forestay-waterfall-through-june-13-2010/):
In the curve gallery, Geoffrey Farmer’s installation: the Surgeon and the Photographer (in reference to Walter Benjamin’s ideas of the artist in The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction-1936):
Gert and Uwe Tobias at the Whitechapel- interested in their typewriter works and woodcuts, but looking at the presentation of the overall exhibition- with sculptures and different work on the walls:
Have just visited the Ellen Gallagher exhibition at the Tate Modern- although her subject matter is mostly different from mine, it is the execution of her work and the intricateness of her making that I was interested in. Also her use of archival newsprint and etching/ collage combinations:
good article on her in the Observer
Was in Florence in the middle of May for the opening of the Celeste Photography Prize at Studio Marangoni, where I was showing. Some of my fellow artists in the exhibition had really interesting work:
Also in the atrium at the Strozzi Palace I happened upon this installation by Federico Gori:
In the Day Remains_ii exhibition that I curated for the Peltz Room Gallery at Birkbeck, some images of the work on show by Victoria Arney, Rachel Hunt, Patric Sandri, Cecilia Jardemar, Hal Stennett and Altea Grau Vidal:
and Cecilia Jardemar’s Film: No Place like Home (2006)
Time Out says
Fri May 17 2013
The relationship between objects and photographic representation is the main theme of this small group show of young artists. That might sound a tad academic but the works themselves are generally pretty punchy and smart, if perhaps occasionally veering towards the frivolous. In Danish collective A Kassen’s series, ‘The Colour of Things’, photographs of various objects (a stone, a pot plant, a chintzy elephant teapot) are displayed next to monochrome wall paintings, the pigments of which are composed of those same objects pulverized to a paste, raising the question of which provides the more literal depiction. There’s a similar idea of reflexivity, though perhaps slightly more forced, in their triptych portraying a dilapidated botanical house in Copenhagen – the works’ glass and wood frames made from found materials depicted in the photograph.
Ivan Argote’s films are more concerned with playfully puncturing the status of objects that are familiar or iconic: folding a dollar bill to make George Washington alternately frown and smile or placing a fallen nose in front of the Louvre’s Sphinx statue. Sure, it’s whimsical – but the Colombian artist’s work can also be oddly affecting, like when he dances to music in front of a Malevich painting as a kind of equivalent gesture of pure, uncontaminated feeling.
Finally, there’s a more reflective, despondent tone to Abigail Reynolds’s small glass-and-paper assemblages: in the form of pages lifted from books, notions of the artificial and man-made are contrasted with wistful images of nature and utopian bliss. Here, the images literally are a kind of object and yet, somehow, this only serves to emphasize how intangible, how completely imaginary, these sorts of ideals ultimately are.
I loved Reynolds pieces as well as A kassen- really well curated show- interested in the screens and crushed object made into squares on the wall- paring down the image to its essence:
We went to the PV of Slade MA show and these were some images of work I was interested in- particularly in how they had resolved their display:
Graphite on paper- at the far end it is being dissolved by white spirit- notion of erasure of labour intensive work
My own experiments with display and presentation/ installation- in the studio:
Recently discovered the work of Luther Price- great video on Whitney website of him talking about his practice- he uses found 8 mil films and splices them to turn them into unique hand made films. Also uses slides- interesting connection to my projections:
http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2012Biennial/LutherPriceWent to the Royal Academy Summer show- mostly don’t like what is on display, but occassionally there are one or two pieces that have a resonance in the room with all the etchings- thought Cornelia Parker’s photograph of her framed piece last year at the RA show with red dots all over it was brilliantly cheeky- It now has new red dots on it from this year’s sales.
Her exhibition at Frith Street Gallery is interesting- quite minimal, and more photographic than other works of hers. The hanging planks of wood as you walk into the space were deceptive and when I first walked in I thought the show was still being hung:
Suspended on threads they are only just teetering above the floor- very poetic, as all her work tends to be. There but not there. I had seen the bbc programme on her which described her working practice for this show, and I was glad that I had as it all made much more sense: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b02tg2z2/What_Do_Artists_Do_All_Day_Cornelia_Parker/and was intrigued by her small observations of everyday life – cracks between the paving stones, marks on the outside walls of a women’s prison, etc.:
Also went to IF with Book Arts, to look at the Dieter Roth exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre and stayed for the talk and tour with Andrea Buttner, which was really interesting. The piece that most struck me was the installation of monitors showing every moment of his life in the last few years before he died- I found it quite moving, and it shows his constant and prolific output right upto his death (also has some resonance with the piece I am working on with the monitors)
Also the work of Lewis Baltz- images of industrial and suburban landscapes- I like the fact that he says that photography is the only art medium which is DEDUCTIVE- you take from something that already exists in some ways, rather than creating from a blank canvas- his talk on TATE SHOTS is worth listening to: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/tateshots-lewis-baltz
Work from the RCA final show 2013- ambitious and extensive in its range:
The best piece in the show for me, though, was this film (although I thought the voice over used wasn’t in keeping with the ephemeral and poetic images) :
A couple of photography pieces that caught my attention at Chelsea BA final show 2013 and Camberwell BA Photography final show:
Goldsmiths MA show: bitty and not my thing at all- except for this piece (probably because there was some print in it!):
A great exhibition at the South London Gallery with a group of sound artists- very minimalist but it makes you pay attention to the details:
At the moment of being heard-These hanging speakers have pigment (Rolf Julius) in them and with low frequency sounds the pigment moves gradually to form different peaks and troughs. There is a great review in ATTN magazine about the exhibition:
I also went to see the new exhibition at the Whitechapel gallery: The Spirit of Utopia- There are some interesting aspects to the show, but altogether I feel it is a little incoherent- its as if all the artists were chosen and the curator has tried to find some common ground between them. I did enjoy the film by Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle and the plants by Wayward Plants. Here is what they say about it in their website: http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/the-spirit-of-utopia
“Our relationship to the environment is explored by London collective, Wayward Plants who use experimental greenhouses to grow tomatoes, potatoes and mustard plants. They fuse new possibilities in food production with scientific narratives, from futuristic seed gardens to sending plants to space. The humble earthworm, crucial to agriculture, is at the heart of an installation by US-based artist Claire Pentecost whose apothecaryjars full of soil examine bacterial life and the link between the health of the soil and thehealth of our bodies.
Alternative economies are a focus for Time/Bank, founded by Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle who work between Berlin and New York. Visualising micro-economies based on the exchange of time, their research is complemented by a series of lectures by academics who propose alternative modes of exchange. Danish collective Superflex promote self-organisation and countereconomic strategies with their film, The Financial Crisis, showing a hypnotist addressing the financial meltdown of 2008.
French-Moroccan artist Yto Barrada’s installation asserts individual narratives within historic structures of colonial power. Just as early twentieth century avant-garde artists deployed graphics and cinema as aesthetic activism, Barrada’s Say Don’t Say posters use terms which subversively react to bureaucratic demands. Scale-model cinemas evoke her cinema club in Rif, where the rich heritage of Arab film can be viewed and discussed.”
Some of the ideas in this exhibition are super interesting in terms of envisaging a future landscape- there is some relevance to my work, but it is not obvious at first glance.
Another exhibition I have been to recently is the one at Flat Time House:
“An exhibition including archival printed matter, video and original artworks from three radical pedagogical activities of the late 60s; The Anti-University, The Hornsey Sit-in and Alexander Trocchi’s sigma project, with new contributions from Adelita Husni-Bey & Park McArthur, Jakob Jakobsen, Sarah Pierce and a major new commission by Olivia Plender & Patrick Staff.” http://www.flattimeho.org.uk/project/88/
The anti-university projects were interesting to read about and the display of material had a certain aesthetic quality- but it was a little obscure and difficult to get into as an exhibition.
An exhibition that I could get into and was visually incredible was the Sebastiao Salgado at the Natural History Museum, Genesis– there are some critics who say that his work aestheticizes political issues making his subjects look beautiful in their misery. I enjoyed the quality of the prints and the scale of the images. His landscape works are incredible in their detail:
New photographers who work with distorting the landscape or abstracting it that I have discovered recently- among them two Japanese artists: Naoya Hatakeyama, in particular his River Series (1993-1994) focusing on the narrow cement canals that run beneath southeast Tokyo and his ‘Underground/ River’ series (1999) where he travelled under Tokyo and through the sewage system to create a series of haunting photographs:
Also the Japanese artist Sohei Nishino’s Diorama maps of Tokyo, London and New York among others. He walks around these cities and finds the highest points to take photos of the city as he walks- he then collages these into enormous dioramas of these cities:
As I am increasingly interested in rivers I am also interested in Olafur Eliasson’s project The inner Cave series (1998) which is composed of 48 monochrome photographs mapping the topography of a river, the river Jokla in Iceland. They look almost sculptural when seen in their totality:
Working with images that are transferred onto phototransfer plates with the light of the sun, these photographs by Chris Mccaw inspire this direct approach- his ‘Sunburn’ series began in 2003 by accident after leaving an all- night exposure too long- this meant the film had been scorched by the path of the sun and had solarized. The sun is the subject and active participant in his work:
The work of Gabor Osz is intriguing- he turned Nazi bunkers into camera obscuras to photograph the landscapes he could see from the slits in the concrete with long six hour exposures. ‘Travelling Landscapes’ (2002) also explores the movement of a train through the landscapes of the Netherlands-to Italy- He says that trains ‘set the landscape into motion’: