Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Archive for the Photography category

Gabríela Friðriksdóttir's "Crepusculum" at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt

by Suzanne on September 23rd, 2011


By Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, courtesy Cueto Project - click to enlarge

From the witchy hands of Gabríela Friðriksdóttir comes Crepusculum - her newest archaic-organic, proto-pagan, neo-ritualistic, chaos-elemental project . Yes, I made all these words up.

And to be even more annoying, I decided to not give you a preview of the actual work on show at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt but of past works, because, to be quite frank with you, Crepusculum reminded me very much (too much?) of my esteemed friends Kahn & Selesnick's work - only in a slightly more Burning Man fashion.

Opens this coming Wednesday, Sep 28 - the artist will be in attendance. Details below.


Still from Björk's Where is the Line? by Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, courtesy Cueto Project - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Wed, Sep 28, 2011, 7 PM onwards - artist will be in attendance

On show: Sep 29, 2011 - Jan 8, 2012

Address: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg, 60311 Frankfurt, Germany, tel: +49.69.299882.0, email: welcome@schirn.de | Directions

Hours: Tue, Fri - Sun: 10 AM - 7 PM, Wed-Thu: 10 AM - 10 PM

Admission: €5

Press release

WurzelForum discussion

David Favrod's "Gaijin" at Spazio Cerere, Rome

by Suzanne on September 20th, 2011


From the Gaijin series by David Favrod - click to enlarge

Young photographer David Takashi Favrod was born in Kobe, Japan, the son of a Japanese mother and a Swiss father but grew up in Vionnaz, in the Swiss Valais Canton - a cultural duality that has strongly influenced his work ever since.

David says of himself that:

"For a Swiss, I am a Japanese and for a Japanese, I am a Swiss or rather a gaijin."


From the Le Tremblement Du Temps series by David Favrod - click to enlarge

Not an unproblematic - and often misunderstood - word but one so very important to Japan's understanding of itself and its relations to the rest of the world, Gaijin was chosen as the title of his solo show at Rome's Spazio Cerere which opens tomorrow evening.

Gaijin is also the title of probably his most intimate and powerful series of photographs - three of which you can see in this post (I sneaked in one picture from a different series because it's so very epic). All pictures were created in Switzerland but are full of references to Japanese culture and history so that the two countries and identities become one.

Being a Swiss living abroad and looking "back home", I very much understand the gaijin aspects of this series - the Caspar David Friedrichesque melancholy and animism in the uprooted landscape, the yearning of the changing seasons, the confinement of the tiny human between mountains and valleys, forests and moors, rivers and avalanches, the maddening impossibility of a horizon, the constant threat of the skies and the elements.


From the Gaijin series by David Favrod - click to enlarge

And from an interior perspective, there is so much psychological claustrophobia and spatial morphing in what are seemingly profane living room settings. Something that Gregory Crewdson or Estelle Hanania or even David Lynch also manage to get across. David Favrod has it too - the talent to make rooms morph so that they appear haunted, wallpapers century-old and scratched, baths overflowing and floorboards creaking.

The yōkai have arrived and are spooking about with the Toggeli.

It clearly adds to the Unheimliche that three protagonists in his Gajin series are not only wearing face paint or masks but have ropes, chains of lights and plaited hair tightly wrapped around their necks.

There is ONE thing, however, that makes the inherent uncanny of his oeuvre almost unbearable for me and that's the fact that there is this picture of his dad (?) wearing a Swiss military uniform common in the 80s which looks precisely like a picture of my dad in a Swiss uniform of exactly that period. And I don't mean they look similar, I mean they look ALIKE... o_O

Details below. Please note that this solo show will only last for 5 days, so if you're planning to attend, do it sooner than later.


From the Gaijin series by David Favrod - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Wed, Sep 21, 2011, 7 PM

On show: Sep 21 - 25, 2011

Address: Spazio Cerere, Via degli Ausoni 3, 00185 Roma, Italy, tel: +39 06 45422960, email: info@spaziocerere.it

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Dr. Paul Koudounaris' "Empire of Death" at La Luz de Jesus, Los Angeles

by Suzanne on September 18th, 2011


St. Pancratius, Wil, Switzerland by Dr. Paul Koudounaris - click to enlarge

Back in June this year, I suggested Paul Koudounaris' ForteanTimes article Bones with Bling - The amazing jewelled skeletons of Europe for reading and those of you who followed my order friendly invitation will be very familiar with the topic discussed here, indeed with most of the image material as well.

If we go even further back, to June 2009, some very eager WurzelForum® members might remember an article entitled Sisterhood of the Skulls about the Neapolitan caves where a cult of old women "adopt" human skulls which was also written by the great Mr Koudounaris.


The remains of St Maximus, Basilica of Waldsassen by Dr. Paul Koudounaris - click to enlarge

For the past few years, Paul Koudounaris has been traveling to churches, crypta and catacombs around the world to compile a comprehensive study of vanitas rites and memento mori decorations of our collective religiously morbid past.

In October, his efforts will be published by Thames & Hudson in a beautiful tome containing 250 full-color and 50 black-and-white photographs entitled Emipre of Death - A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses and this coming Saturday, Sep 24, Hollywood's La Luz de Jesus gallery is holding an opening reception and book signing with the artist. A bit far away from the majority of subjects of his studies, but OH WELL, we Europeans can't have everything - after all, we got most of the actual relics, so we still totally win all the way. Details below.

If you're on the East Coast and near New York, you might want to wait until October 13, when Paul will be giving a lecture at The Observatory Room and sign his monograph in an event organised by the great Joanna of Morbid Anatomy.


Holy Martyr Theodosius, Waldsassen by Dr. Paul Koudounaris - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Sep 24, 7 - 10 PM - includes book signing

On show: Sep 24 - Oct 3, 2011

Address: La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA, tel: 323-666-7667, email: info@laluzdejesus.com

Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 11 AM - 7 PM, Thu - Sat: 11 AM - 9 PM, Sun: 12 - 6 PM

Preview & press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Rong Rong & Inri at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong

by Suzanne on September 10th, 2011


In Bad Goisern, Austria 2001 No. 1 (detail) by Rong Rong & Inri, hand-dyed gelatin silver print, 2001 - click to enlarge

One of the Asian photography world's most interesting art couples - Fujian-born (China) Rong Rong and his Kanagawa-born (Japan) wife Inri - are currently showing their first-ever solo exhibition Three Begets Ten Thousand Things at Hong Kong's Blindspot Gallery.


East Village, Beijing 1995 No. 9 by Rong Rong, gelatin silver print, 1995, featuring Zhang Huan - click to enlarge

As an admirer of both Rong Rong's early oeuvre (I admit this might have something to do with a decade-old crush on artist Zhang Huan who appears in many of Rong Rong's pictures from that period) as well as their more elemental collaborative contemporary pieces, I'm glad to see that both their photographic past and present are equally highlighted in the exhibition:

"The exhibition consists of two parts. Part I presented at Blindspot Gallery (Central), will be a selection of Rong Rong’s most significant series dating from the early 1990s including East Village, Ruins and Wedding Gown.

Part II presented at Blindspot Annex (Wong Chuk Hang), will feature a decade of collaborative work of Rong Rong & Inri."

Details below.


East Village, Beijing 1994 No.12 by Rong Rong, gelatin silver print, 1994, featuring Zhang Huan - click to enlarge

On show: Sep 10 - Nov 13, 2011

Address: Blindspot Gallery, 24-26A, Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, tel: +852 2517 6238, email: info@blindspotgallery.com | Blindspot Annex, 15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong, tel: +852 2873 3819, email: info@blindspotgallery.com | Map

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11 AM – 7 PM

Preview | Press release

WurzelForum discussion

Ralph Eugene Meatyard at Art Institute of Chicago

by Suzanne on August 26th, 2011


Untitled by Ralph Eugene Meatyard, gelatin silver print, 6 5/8 x 5 3/4 inches, date unknown © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard- click to enlarge

Ralph Eugene Meatyard is one of those artists you're almost kind of grateful they're not alive anymore (how ever short his existence was) because you just know that VICE would totally exploit his natural talent for subtly staged impromptu photography which enabled him to make the derelict seem enchanted and boy scouts sweetly traumatised.

Meatyard certainly was an interesting chap, he even

"inserted one of his own prints into his personal copy of Beaumont Newhall’s classic History of Photography, which did not include him."

(AIC press release)

The Chicago Art Institute is currently showing a grand retrospective of Meatyard's work. It opened back in July and will remain on show until September 25. Definitely one to check out.

Admission is a bit pricy with $18 but free to Illinois residents on the first and second Wednesdays of every month.

The exhibition will be traveling to the De Young Museum in San Francisco (Oct 8, 2011 - Feb 26, 2012) and finally to the Museum of Art in Philadelphia (May 19 – Aug 5, 2012) afterwards.

Further details below.


Untitled by Ralph Eugene Meatyard, gelatin silver print, 7 3/8 x 7 3/8 inches, date unknown © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard- click to enlarge

On show: Jul 2 - Sep 25, 2011

Address: The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404, USA | Map

Opening hours: Mon - Wed, Fri - Sun: 10:30 AM - 5 PM, Thu: 10:30 AM - 8 PM

Admission: $18 - and special offers for locals

Catalogue: The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 144-page catalogue published by Radius Books.

Press release

WurzelForum discussion | Via Daily Serving

And à propos traumatised boys: Innocence sure can be hell...

Boys...

Desiree Dolron at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

by Suzanne on July 25th, 2011


Tai Pusam from the Exaltation series by Desiree Dolron, 1991-1999 - click to enlarge

Combining the mournful claustrophobia of her Xteriors series (bottom image), the romantic dilapidation of Te dí todos mis sueños, the frozen humanity of Gaze and the beautified insanity of Exaltation (top image), Desiree Dolron has truly created a photographic oeuvre that exists outside genre restrictions.

A selection of her work is currently on show at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Details below.

Oh, and btw, it's probably not the brightest idea to steal her concepts, Richard Wathen. I have a sharp eye.


Xteriors VIII from the Xteriors series by Desiree Dolron, 2001-2008 - click to enlarge

On show: Jun 25 - Nov 6, 2011

Address: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museumpark 18-20, 3015 CX Rotterdam, The Netherlands, tel: +31 (0)10 44.19.400, email: info@boijmans.nl | Map & Directions

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11 AM - 5 PM

Admission: € 10

Press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Eikoh Hosoe (yes, AGAIN!) at Clair, Munich

by Suzanne on June 22nd, 2011


Yukio Mishima as Saint Sebastian by Eikoh Hosoe - click to enlarge

Yes, I know I abuse every Eikoh Hosoe exhibition announcement to indulge in Mishima erotica when the rest of his oeuvre is absolutely breathtaking, but deep deep down, you all want to see Mishima's perfectly toned oily near-naked body (... and ANYWAYS, I even threw in a Kazuo Ohno to be fair!)


Kazuo Ohno by Eikoh Hosoe - click to enlarge

People who are close to me know of my obsession with St Sebastians in art, and I actually have to admit that I now completely forgot what I wanted to write about here but OH BOY!

Exhibition details are below and let's here it from the man himself:

"The world to which I was abducted under the spell of [Hosoe’s] lens was abnormal, warped, sarcastic, grotesque, savage, and promiscuous…It was, in a sense, the reverse of the world we live in, where our worship of social appearances and our concern for public morality and hygiene create foul filthy sewers winding beneath the surface. Unlike ours, the world to which I was escorted was a weird, repellent city—naked, comic, wretched, cruel, and overdecorative—yet in its underground channels there flowed, inexhaustibly, a pellucid stream of unsullied feeling."

Mishima's preface to Eikoh Hosoe's Ordeal by Roses


From Ordeal by Roses by Eikoh Hosoe, gelatin silver print, 1963/1976 - click to enlarge


On show: Jun 7 - Jul 16, 2011

Address: Clair, Franz-Joseph-Str. 10, D-80801 München, Germany, tel: +49.(0)89.386674-42/46, email: info@clair.me | Map

Gallery hours: Wed - Sat: 3 - 7 PM, and by appointment

Preview | Bio


New articles, publications, blogs worth checkin'

by Suzanne on June 22nd, 2011

I didn't really want to turn each of the following into separate posts, so please do apologise the rather random character of what's to come.

READIN'

Ingestion / Planet in a Bottle (by Christopher Turner for Cabinet Magazine)

A fantastic article about the bionauts, Buckminster Fuller, and why humans just can't and won't coexist with nature.

Bones with Bling (by Paul Koudounaris for ForteanTimes)

Nomen est omen. A short but sweet article about Europe's old bejewelled skeletons.

BUYIN'

Fantastic Animals (by Aleksandra Waliszewska & Matthew Wascovich for My Dance The Skull)

A new publication from the amazing Aleksandra Waliszewska - a few people have told me that the above is most certainly a portrait of yours truly humpin'... SOMETHING... but I guess we'll never know.

Edition of 100 copies, 20 pages, 14 x 21 cm at only £5! Get one while they last.

OOHIN' & AAHIN'

Uno Moralez Mention No. 238917258

Sickeningly talented Uno Moralez posts pictures of an abandoned project.

Steven Cook's Alternity

The year is 2011 and it looks like Steven Cook has taken up alternifying reality again. Oh boy! Seen above is The Traveller Returns.

JAPANIN'

Incredible Custom Akira pinball machine

Based on a boring Gottlieb. Found by Otomblr - dedicated to the art of Katsuhiro Otomo.

Tokyo Scum Brigade Tumblr

TSB now have a Tumblr. Noice.

Bo.Lee's "Shadowside" at Blackall, London

by Suzanne on June 12th, 2011

UPDATE JUNE 29, 2011: Here are a few images of the Shadowside show taken from my Flickr:


Second Skin by Ione Rucquoi, 2010 - click to enlarge

Shadowside is Bath-based Bo.Lee Gallery's effort to introduce the London crowd to their roster of artists. They hired the perfectly located Blackall Studios for their 4-day-only group exhibition. Yep, Blackall is THAT expensive to hire, trust me, I know...


Heart to Heart by Ione Rucquoi, 2006 - click to enlarge

Dark Introductions to the Disowned Self - as the subtitle suggests, might be a statement somewhat difficult to fulfill with most of the art on show not really being that dark or that Jungian for that matter, but I can see it definitely working for the likes of Ione Rucquoi's (featured above) and Beth Carter's work.


Badgered by Kate MacDowell, hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 2010 - click to enlarge

And anyway, the fact that Kate MacDowell's works will be on show should be reason enough to attend. So there.

Other exhibiting artists include: Patrick Haines, Neil Moore, Mercedes Helnwein, Chris Anthony

Details below.


Crave by Kate MacDowell, hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 2006 - click to enlarge

P.S.: Does anyone else have to think of Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison here? Nope. Oh well, I guess it's just me then.


Opening reception: Jun 14, 2011, 6 - 9 PM, RSVP

On show: Jun 14 - 18, 2011

Address: Blackall Studios, 73 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4QS, UK | Map

Gallery hours: 11 AM - 6 PM

Press release | Preview


David Hochbaum at Strychnin, Berlin... and Tetris Dreams

by Suzanne on June 8th, 2011

In a night filled with some of the most psychotic dreams ever - including a trained toad that would get me sweets from vending machines, walking barefoot over a bridge made of snakes, meeting the bored 1940s secretary who accidentally invented the D-beat - Sigur Ros launched a RL tetris with me at the controllers where everyone got squashed to death because I'm so damn good at tetris.

As a player inside the RL tetris you were given a choice between 3 pills without knowing what they were: A black one to die immediately without having to endure the agony of being squashed by the giant pieces, a blue one to not feel any pain and a green one to send in one of your friends instead.

I hope you can understand that a) I will keep today's posts short and b) I need help.


Return by David Hochbaum, gelatin silver print and mixed media - click to enlarge

Berlin's amazing Strychnin Gallery is presenting a solo show with new works by multimedia artist David Hochbaum entitled Kaidan Shu - Tales of Mist & Wind.

Normally not a great fan of layered mixed media photographs, I was very impressed by David's new body of work as it possess a great poetic quality and the distinct facial features, vibrant colours and bold Muromachi-inspired brushstrokes make you almost forget that you're actually face to face with the yōkai.

Strychnin says:

"The exhibition is part of the 150th anniversary of Japanese-German friendship and mindful of recent events, Strychnin Gallery at the request of the artist will be donating a percentage of all sales to further relief efforts in Japan."

Nice.

The show opens this Friday and if you're in Berlin, I suggest you go and have a look.


Consumption by David Hochbaum, gelatin silver print and mixed media - click to enlarge


Opening reception: Friday, Jun 10, 2011, 7 PM onwards

On show: Jun 10 - Jul 10, 2011

Address: STRYCHNIN Gallery, Boxhagenerstr. 36, 10245 Berlin, Germany, tel: +49 30 9700 2035

Gallery hours: Thu - Sun: 12 - 6 PM

Presale link

Artist's website