Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Archive for the Performance Art category

3 Videos for Your Brains, Ears and Humour Glands

by Suzanne on June 22nd, 2011

Just a couple of interesting visual and aural gems I stumbled upon in the past week that I wanted to share with you.

First up is the epic 3-part documentary All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace by Adam Curtis.

Shown here is the first episode entitled Love & Power from which you will be guided onto the next two.

It has already gained some notoriety due to its strange mix of absolute brilliance followed by sometimes rather brutal simplifications but all I can say is that you should watch all three parts and you will undoubtedly come out having learned something. The topic is extremely broad and being brave enough to take on a project like this is an achievement in itself and a rarity in today's TV landscape (actually, I don't even own a TV - I'm just being patronising, heh!)

The next one is a short but sweet aural pleasure by the great John Maus that came to me via Substrom. The footage is from Lars Von Trier's Element of Crime.

John Maus - Cop Killer from George Tanasie on Vimeo.

And finally, something that's funny cause it's true by Charlotte Young:

That's that. Over and out.

Atsushi Suwa at Gallery Naruyama, Tokyo

by Suzanne on June 9th, 2011

Stereotype 08 by Atsushi Suwa, oil on canvas, 2008 - click to enlarge

Atsushi Suwa 's solo show To Live or to Die, We Share the Same Fate will be opening tonight at Tokyo's Gallery Naruyama.

A technically absolutely brilliant artist who makes it seem totally effortless to cram a trompe-l'oeil with the entire mirror perspective of Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait into a small camera lens (below), he has shown time and again that he cannot simply be reduced to realism - despite his obvious and vast talent for it.

By Atsushi Suwa - click to enlarge

His intimate collaboration with the famous and awe-inspiring butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno or his documentary Father series show a very deep emotional involvement with the subject, a desire to dissect traumata and fears, to look mercilessly at the fabric and tissue of life. And death.

I'm not entirely sure what will be presented at the exhibition, but I'm pretty certain it's near impossible for Atsushi Suwa to disappoint. Details below.

By Atsushi Suwa

On show: Jun 9 - Jul 9, 2011

Address: Gallery Naruyama, #205 Matsuoka Kudan Bldg. 2-2-8 Kudan Minami, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 102-0074 Japan, tel: +81 (0)3 3264-4871, email: info@gallery-naruyama.com | Map

Gallery hours: Daily: 1 - 7 PM, except Wed & Sun

Press release

Artist's website

Claude Cahun at Jeu de Paume, Paris

by Suzanne on June 1st, 2011

Self-portrait by Claude Cahun - click to enlarge

A highly politically engaged artist throughout her life, it's great to see that Claude Cahun (née Lucy Renée Mathilde Schwob) finally gets the recognition she has always deserved from her homeland - both as a surrealist photographer and very brave Jewish woman breaking sexual, social and religious taboos and stereotypes decades before they were addressed.

Self-portrait by Claude Cahun - click to enlarge

Arrested and sentenced to death and six years in prison for treason - it is rumoured that Cahun asked whether the execution or the jail term would come first - a year before the end of the 2nd world war (the death sentence wasn't carried out but it's assumed that Cahun was tortured in prison as she never fully recovered from her time in captivity), she made the ultimate sacrifice for her resistance, her determination, her bravery. Today she rests buried with her partner Suzanne Malherbe (a.k.a. Marcel Moore) in Jersey.

Self-portrait by Claude Cahun - click to enlarge

Now, after sixteen years of no major retrospective efforts, Jeu de Paume in Paris has finally brought together a stunning selection of her oeuvre - including a lot of rarities that have never been exhibited before.

The exhibition opened a week ago and will remain on show until the end of September. Highly recommended.

All details below.

Self-portrait by Claude Cahun - click to enlarge

On show: May 24 - Sep 25, 2011

Address: Jeu de Paume, 1 place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, France, tel: 01 47 03 12 50

Gallery hours: Tue: 12 - 9 PM, Wed - Fri: 12 - 7 PM, Sat - Sun: 10 AM - 7 PM

Admission: €8,50

Preview | Press release

Levi van Veluw's "Origin of the Beginning" at Ron Mandos, Amsterdam

by Suzanne on May 10th, 2011

Hair by Levi van Veluw, 2007

I will freely admit that I've had a bit of a crush on Levi van Veluw ever since I first stumbled upon his Hair self-portrait (top).

Coming from a similar school of thought as the great Bart Hess, Levi has been using first his face and then more and more his entire body as both canvas and protagonist of his work.

From next Saturday onwards, he'll be revealing works from his new Origin of the Beginning series at Ron Mandos in Amsterdam.

Natural transfer II by Levi van Veluw, 2007

From the press release:

"The artist has created 3 “rooms” covered with more then 30.000 wooden blocks, balls and slats respectively. Each “room” is executed as a life-size installation (4m x 2.5m x 2.5m) and will be presented at the gallery together with photographs and videos. [...]"

Veneer III by Levi van Veluw, 2010

Opening reception: May 21, 2011, 5 - 7 PM - Levi will be in attendance.

On show: May 21 - June 25, 2011

Address: Galerie Ron Mandos, Prinsengracht 282, 1016 HJ Amsterdam, Netherlands, tel: +31 20 3207036, email: info@ronmandos.nl

Gallery hours: Wed - Sat: 12 - 6 PM

Press release & preview

Artist's website

Four Days of Jodorowsky (WITH Jodorowsky!) at KW, Berlin

by Suzanne on May 3rd, 2011

(Restored) still from Alejandro Jodorowsky's La Montaña Sagrada, 1973

My German brethren and sistren, I am delighted to announce that the great Alejandro Jodorowsky will be visiting you next week bringing not only four of his movies but HIMSELF to your capital!

(Restored) still from Alejandro Jodorowsky's La Montaña Sagrada, 1973

Here are the details:

Day One: Wednesday, May 11
8 PM: Talk with Alejandro Jodorowksy
9 PM: El Topo (MEX 1970, color, 125 min.)

Day Two: Thursday, May 12
9 PM: The Holy Mountain (MEX/USA 1974, color, 114 min.)

Day Three: Friday, May 13
9 PM: Santa Sangre (MEX/IT 1989, color, 123 min.)

Day Four: Saturday, May 14
9 PM: Fando y Lis (MEX 1967, b/w, 96 min.)

(Restored) still from Alejandro Jodorowsky's La Montaña Sagrada, 1973

This glorious 4 day event will take place at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art at Auguststraße (map). Click here for the full listing. Admission is €5 - I guess that's for one day.

Don't miss this!

Oh, and btw, if you enjoy Jodorowsky's work, you might like to check out my recent post on “Les Yeux Du Chat” by Moebius/Jodorowsky.

And now some spoilers from La Montaña Sagrada for those unfamiliar with Jodorowsky's work:

Kara Walker at Lehmann Maupin and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York

by Suzanne on April 18th, 2011

Alabama Loyalists Greeting the Federal Gun-Boats by Kara Walker, 2005 - click to enlarge

And we're staying historically monochrome with Kara Walker whose new double show Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue Tale will be opening at Lehmann Maupin - in collaboration with Sikkema Jenkins & Co - in New York this Thursday.

From the press release:

At Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Walker will present three new video works, which draw on her own experience in the Mississippi Delta, “a region mythologized in song and popular culture but tragically depressing.” She explains, “I drove down to the Delta thinking about the terrors of Jim Crow and slavery, yet the silent indifference of the landscape and the economic stasis, lack of mobility, and the persistence of a racist memory in the area was what stuck.” [...]

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. will present, Dust Jackets for the Niggerati- and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings submitted ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker a concurrent exhibition of Kara Walker’s graphite works on paper and hand-printed texts. This body of work grew out of the artist’s search for understanding of the way that power asserts itself in interpersonal and geopolitical spheres. [...]

Details for the Lehmann Maupin show below. Check Sikkema Jenkins & Co for further information about their show as nothing has gone online yet.

A Warm Summer Evening in 1863 by Kara Walker, 2008 - click to enlarge

On show: Apr 21 - Jun 4, 2011

Address: Lehmann Maupin, 201 Chrystie Street, New York, NY, tel: 212 255 2923 | Map

Press release & preview

Gallery hours: Tue - Sat: 10 AM - 6 PM

... and in other chromatically challenged but visually ingenious news...

i) The great Uno Moralez has a new bitmap marvel out:

© Uno Moralez, 2011 - click to enlarge

ii) Ruth Marten has updated her website with gorgeous new work...

Oyster by Ruth Marten, ink on found paper, 2008 - click to enlarge

The Fumetto 2011 Report

by Suzanne on April 14th, 2011

Waiting by the ILLUMAT® for this - Photo by Robert M Fenner, 2011

This year's edition of Fumetto marked the festival's 20th anniversary and it was a worthy celebration of sequential art that I was fortunate enough to attend with The Fenner.

And since all festival director Lynn Kost had to tell me when I congratulted him on the programme was "Yeah, you just came for Dan Clowes!", I thought I should probably at least attempt to prove him wrong by writing this little Fumetto photo love story. Do teenage magazines still print those? I suppose not. I sometimes forget that I could be your collective gramma.

Installation view of Daniel Clowes' retrospective during Fumetto 2011 at Frigorex - Photo by Wurzeltod, 2011

Anyways, so just like every year, there was some outstanding and exceptional work on display: From a post-apocalyptic bombed-out teenage angst shelter to art brut to traditional sequentialism to sausage art. Yes, there were A LOT of sausages from Ampel Magazin, to Beni Bischof (obsessively!), to (more subtly, but STILL!) Brecht Vandenbroucke and Tommi Musturi AND I HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN TO THE SATELLITE EXHIBITIONS! I have been thinking about this trend since my return and to be frank with you, I'm not sure whether it has to do with Lucerne's sick love affair with the "Cervelat" or whether it's more because, after all, every idiot can draw a sausage with a face - including myself. At any rate, I thought it essential to raise this issue.

Artwork by Tommi Musturi for Fumetto 2011 at SBB Tunnel - Photo by Wurzeltod, 2011

But now, and because I'm an opinionated cunt, to my personal Top 5 of Fumetto 2011 in Order of Awesomeness:

1. Daniel Clowes
3. Tommi Musturi
4. Jim Shaw
5. Beni Bischof

6./Honourable mention: Atak

- 1-

Dan Clowes needs no further explanation/introduction/votum as people who know me well are probably sick of me going on about his work. All I can say is that an interview that Rob and I conducted with him will follow later and in the meantime, why not get jealous at my signed copy of Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron?! And just one last word to "curator" Susan Miller: That press release was DREADFUL! Particularly compared to Lynn's amazing essays. Just sayin', just sayin'.

- 2 -

The ILLUMAT® (top picture) was a very pleasant surprise this year and I'm glad I waited amongst screaming children and smelly dogs for the Weimar illustration students... errr... ROBOTS to draw me this amazing watercolour with the instructions "Godzilla standing on Mount Fuji with a censored erection. During sunset"

- 3 -

Projected face paint courtesy of Tommi Musturi and Fumetto 2011 - Photo by Robert M Fenner, 2011

Finnish artist Tommi Musturi was probably my favourite discovery of this year's Fumetto. His candy-coloured neo-new-age worlds and zine works were as psychedelically trippy as they were technically impeccable. That's sensory overload and synapses harakiri at its best!

- 4 -

Jim Shaw is one of those artists I always knew about but had so far subconsciously avoided a confrontation with his oeuvre in the slightly psychotic fear I would hate it or its monochrome character wouldn't have enough essence. Well, I'm glad to say I couldn't have been more wrong and more snobbish. His (very directly) William Blake inspired cycle was one of the big revelations of Fumetto 2011. His works have all the gravitas, all the complexity, all the rebellion, all the cleverness that even elusive Blake himself would have loved this homage to him.

I'm afraid I wasn't allowed to take pictures of this show as it was at the modern art museum. Same applies to Yves Netzhammer whose show was very inspiring too. BOOOO KUNSTMUSEUM LUZERN!

A propos Kunstmuseum Luzern: If you visit the Fumetto exhibits, make sure to check out Patricia Bucher's Schlachtenpanorama one room after Jim Shaw's exhibition as well. You won't regret it.

- 5 -

Detail of Beni Bischof's No Longer Pie in the Sky installation at Fumetto 2011, SBB Tunnel - Photo by Wurzeltod, 2011

Beni Bischof's work is art brut at its best. it's unfiltered and uncensored inspiration put into shape. And they're weird, foamy shapes growing like a fluorescent cancer and pulsating in stroboscopic light. It's unsurprising that a lot of his displays immediately entered my dream cosmos. Lynn called Beni "eine Art Verdauungsmaschine" in his press release and I couldn't agree more.

- 6 -

Let's be honest: Atak's exhibition was the most epic one. And that's precisely why he didn't make it into the top 5. I just don't think he still needs the attention. His Toy Box was a work of genius though and put a giant smile on my face and this here was rather sweet too:

So, kids, what can I tell you? I had a great time, I got a chance to talk at length with one of my biggest comics heroes ever, I have a Godzilla with a giant censored erection, I had fun looking at Pipifax and Analph books I couldn't afford and I got to spend a few days in my home town of Lucerne.

The festival was outstandingly curated and locations (some architecturally stunning, some venerable, some industrial) well chosen. It was a particularly brave (and the right!) choice to put the headliner in an old fridge factory outside the city and not in the central modern art museum. Contextualisation always needs to go before commercialism and easy access.

I would particularly like to thank Dan Clowes, Lynn Kost, Daniela Krienbühl and Fabienne Anthes and everyone else from the amazing Fumetto team for making this all possible. You rock, in case you hadn't noticed.

Oh, and here's a little slideshow with some impressions for all of you who were too lazy to read this. Bastards.

Fumetto is still going on, btw, and all the exhibitions will remain on show until April 17, 2011.

Dan Clowes in conversation at Frigorex, Fumetto 2011 - Photo by Wurzeltod, 2011

Almagul Menlibayeva at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York

by Suzanne on March 23rd, 2011

Madonna of the Great Steppes by Almagul Menlibayeva, 2010 - click to enlarge

It's been aeons since I last had a look at Almagul Menlibayeva's work. In fact, it's been so very long that I couldn't even find my original post about her in my archives which seems just like her... magically making things evaporate like a "pictorial sorceress" (Priska C. Juschka).

The archaic Kazakh Queen of the Great Steppes has an upcoming video and photography solo show entitled Transoxiana Dreams that opens tomorrow evening with the artist in attendance at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art in New York and will remain on show until mid-May.

Mongolian Princess by Almagul Menlibayeva, video still, 2008

From the press release:

"Afflicted by former Soviet policies and abandoned by commercial and cultural interests, today, Transoxiana lies bare and stripped in a surreal state of existence with discarded fishing fleets on dusty terrain, cleaved by metal scavengers while its inhabitants look on as the sea keeps receding into a far and unreachable distance of a seemingly better world."

All details below.

Butterflies of Aisha Bibi by Almagul Menlibayeva, video still, 2010 - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Thu, Mar 24, 6 - 9 PM

On show: Mar 24 - May 14, 2011

Address: Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, 547 West 27th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001, (between 10th & 11th Ave.), tel: 1 212 244 4320, email: gallery@priskajuschkafineart.com | Map & Directions

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11 AM - 6 PM, or by appointment

Press release | Artist's bio | Works

Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner, New York

by Suzanne on February 23rd, 2011

Polytropos of many turns by Marcel Dzama, mannequin with rotating base and costume, socks, dress, mask, and gun, 2009 - click to enlarge

Marcel Dzama (previously featured here and here) has once again created a whole microcosm of multi-genre art for his Behind Every Curtain solo show at David Zwirner.

It seems that his natural sense for choreography has transpired into his works on paper which he now beautifully sculpts as papercuts in very haptic dioramas.

And as always, Dzama wouldn't be Dzama without a short movie:

Don't miss this exhibition - Dzama's shows truly are otherworldly.

On show: Feb 17 - Mar 19, 2011

Address: David Zwirner, 525 West 19th Street (between 10th Ave. and West St.), New York, NY 10011 | Map

Gallery hours: Tue - Sat: 10 AM – 6 PM, Monday by appointment

Preview show | Press release

Hilum - Les Antliaclastes at the ICA, London (SOLD OUT)

by Suzanne on January 20th, 2011

Dear Peoples of The Interweb. What happens if Shen Shaomin meets John Hunter meets the Brothers Quay meets Jan Å vankmajer meets my dreams? Patrick Sims found the answer:

Hilum part I (1+2) from franck littot on Vimeo.

Hilum part I/3 from franck littot on Vimeo.

"A micro comic-tragedy based on the cycles of the washing machine and set in the basement of a rundown museum of natural history. Orphaned and cut off from the ordered kingdom of curiosities upstairs, the cast of nursery rhyme characters, cartoon images, and mischievous urchins turn playtime into a theatre of cruelty. Whites mix with colours, delicates get hot washed, and a monstrous big toe devours holes in the socks. [...]"

(ICA programme text)

I have absolutely nothing to add to this other than: