Tuesday 29 October 2013

Fleshtones: The Lesbian Nude

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Review of Sarah Lucas: Situation - Absolute Beach Man Rubble at the Whitechapel Gallery

Sarah Lucas: Situation - Absolute Beach Man Rubble
Whitechapel Gallery
2 October – 15 December 2013

Rotting hams, kippers and kebabs; cucumbers, bananas, zeppelins; melons, lemons, and fried eggs. Sarah Lucas’ body part metaphors are far from subtle. Crude and conjuring up a raw, base, animal sexuality, her androgynous gestures are hermaphroditic to the hilt – none of this could-be-one-thing, could-be-the-other. No, Lucas’ constructs are absolutely and fully both.

Born in 1962 and part of the Hirstian Goldsmith’s generation (albeit two years his senior), Lucas took part in the now notorious Freeze exhibition of 1988. Running ‘The Shop’ with Tracey Emin for six months in 1993 and dating Gary Hume and Angus Fairhurst (who later committed suicide), she lived YBA (Young British Artist) life to the full. In fact, her credentials as a 1990s party animal stretch as far as her sometimes (self-)reportedly going out to post a letter and returning a week later. 

To read the rest of this review, please go to: http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/sarah-lucas

Monday 28 October 2013

Review of Sophy Rickett: Objects in the Field at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

Sophy Rickett: Objects in the Field
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
14 September – 3 November 2013

In 2012, Sophy Rickett held the post of Associate Artist at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University. During this time, she met the retired scientist, Dr Roderick Willstrop, designer and builder of the original Three Mirror Telescope (3MT). This small but well-constructed exhibition charts their interaction and the connections Rickett discovered between her work and his: that of a lens-based artist and that of a lens-based scientist.

To read the rest of this review, please go to: http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/2013/10/objects-in-the-field-2/

Monday 21 October 2013

Review of Frieze Talks: Sexuality, Politics and Protest at Frieze London Art Fair 2013

Frieze London Art Fair 2013
Frieze Talks: Sexuality, Politics and Protest
Friday 18 October 2013, 13:30

Neil Bartlett (Theatre Director, Author and Performer, Brighton)
Marlene McCarty (Artist, New York)
Zanele Muholi (Photographer, Johannesburg)
Chair: Jennifer Kabat (Writer, New York)

Political theorist Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) drew a strict distinction between ‘labour’ (‘animal laborans’) – the biological processes of the human body: spontaneous growth, metabolism, and eventual decay; ‘work’ (‘homo faber’) – once you start employing implements and separating yourself from nature, creating an artificial world of things; and ‘action’ (‘vita activa’) – political acts, such as speech acts, which separate and distinguish one man from another, but which take place directly between men without the intermediary of things or matter. As such, she placed art firmly within the realm of work, not action, since, generally speaking, it creates a tangible product.

Obviously, however, things are not quite this clear cut. For starters, art, if you allow for performance art in particular, does not always leave behind a tangible trace. Moreover, however, art is very commonly employed for political purposes: to express a particular viewpoint, or to protest against the status quo. 

Saturday 19 October 2013

Video Interview with Kara Walker at Camden Arts Centre

Kara Walker: We at Camden Arts Centre are Exceedingly Proud to Present an Exhibition of Capable Artworks by the Notable Hand of the Celebrated American, Kara Elizabeth Walker, Negress
Camden Arts Centre
11 October 2013 - 5 January 2014

Kara Walker’s work is a dark and, at times, sinister, exploration of race, gender, sexuality and violence in American history and society. Best known for her life-size black paper silhouettes, Walker’s work is often displayed in the form of cyclorama, with light projections causing the visitors’ shadows to intermingle with the fictional (and factual) characters on the walls. More recent works include puppet films telling open-ended narratives about the abuse of power. “I don’t know how much I believe in redemptive stories,” says Walker. “Triumph never sits still. Life goes on. People forget and make mistakes. Heroes are not completely pure, and villains aren’t purely evil. I’m interested in the continuity of conflict.”

To watch the interview, please go to: http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/kara-walker

Review of 2Q13: Women Artists, Women Collectors at Lloyd’s Club

2Q13: Women Artists, Women Collectors
curated by Marcelle Joseph and Lydia Cowpertwait
Lloyd’s Club, 42 Crutched Friars, London EC3N 2AP
18 September – 5 December 2013

In 2009, following its expansion, the Whitechapel Gallery opened with three exhibitions by women artists, held back to back. The press leapt on this for its unusualness. This autumn, however, we can enjoy Mira Schendel at Tate Modern, Marisa Merz at the Serpentine, Dayanita Singh and Ana Mendieta at the Hayward, Kara Walker at the Camden Arts Centre and Sarah Lucas at the Whitechapel. Are things therefore improving for women in the art world?

This was one of the questions addressed at an evening panel discussion last week, held as part of the exhibition, 2Q13: Women Artists, Women Collectors, currently decorating the walls of the largely male dominated private members’ club, the Lloyds Club, deep in the city of London. Curated by two women, this impressive group show includes over 100 contemporary artworks, made by 59 female artists and drawn from the collections of seven prominent female art collectors.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Video review of Daniel Silver: Dig at the Odeon Site, 24 Grafton Way

Daniel Silver: Dig
The Odeon Site, 24 Grafton Way
12 September – 3 November 2013

It might appear that we are miles away from civilisation – at least, from what we know this to be, in terms of the every day hustle and bustle of London – but, in fact, not only are we surrounded by what could well be remnants and remains, artefacts and evidence, of myriad other civilisations, both modern and ancient, but, we are, in fact, almost as centrally placed in the English capital as it is possible to be.

In fact, we are standing in the one time multi-storey car park on the long derelict site of one of London’s largest Odeon cinemas, on Grafton Way, just off Tottenham Court Road. This dark, dank, deserted basement is currently host to the latest Artangel commission, Dig, by sculptor Daniel Silver.

Fragments, oddments, body parts and tools are strewn all around, assembled on wooden benches, like in an archaeological workshop. Taller figures and busts, some on plinths, rise out of the mud and clay. 

To read the rest of this review and to view the video, please go to: http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/daniel-silver

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Interview with Philomene Pirecki

Philomene Pirecki: Image Persistence
Supplement Gallery
21 September - 20 October 2013

London-based artist Philomene Pirecki has just been shortlisted for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. In addition to this, her current show, Image Persistence, is the inaugural exhibition at Supplement Gallery’s new space at 96 Teesdale Street in Bethnal Green.

To watch the interview, please go to: http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/philomene-pirecki

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Essay on Ana Mendieta: Photography, Film, and the Silueta Series

Ana Mendieta: Photography, Film, and the Silueta Series

Cuban-born artist, Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), is best known for her Silueta series, for which she created imprints of her body in nature, leaving, as the title suggests, a silhouette or a trace. At the outset, Mendieta used her own body placed in the landscape to make her mark. As she progressed, however, she created – largely for practical reasons – a template by lying on a piece of foam board and having her outline traced and then cut out. She would then take this cut-out with her into the landscape and use it to either trace her outline in the earth, imprint her image on a surface, or sometimes to directly stand in for her body. Between 1973-1980, Mendieta created over 100 Silueta in a variety of materials, including earth, wood, grass, flowers, leaves, moss, algae, mushrooms, pebbles, fire, ice and stone.  

Mendieta created her Silueta works in the absence of an audience, apart from her tutor and lover, Hans Breder, who would usually accompany her with his video camera. Given the ephemeral nature of the Silueta themselves, the photographs, Super-8 films and 35mm slides are all that remain, and, indeed, all that even contemporary audiences would have seen. For her first key solo exhibition, held at the Corroboree Gallery of New Concepts, University of Iowa, in 1977, Mendieta presented 27 small-scale colour photographs, unframed and mounted on board, of her works made over the previous two years.

In her personal writings, Mendieta explains:

In galleries and museums the earth-body sculptures come to the viewers by way of photos, because the work necessarily always stays in situ. Because of this and due to the impermanence of the sculptures the photographs become a very vital part of my work.

In fact, in an interview with Dr Joan Marter, she contends that her works are bothbody earthwork and photo.’

Monday 7 October 2013

Introduction to Gui Pondé

Gui Pondé

Born in Rio, but now based in London, Gui Pondé  has developed his own unique methods for creating delicately solid sculptures and sturdily flimsy paintings, mixing paint, and all manner of experimental pigments with his key element – water – and layering them up on a fragile base material. 

Pondé works this material – often tracing paper, a diaphanous surface willing to yield – slowly and gently until it complies, testing, always, just how far he can go, pushing the paper’s limits, finding that fine line between destruction and creation, embedding a lifetime of recollections, creases and crevices on the surface like wrinkles on an elderly face. Pondé’s works are frozen memories, at once familiar and yet distinctly personal to the artist. 

Please visit Gui's website: http://guiponde.com 


© Gui Pondé

Trust Me (detail)

Witness I & 2

Thursday 3 October 2013

Review of Ana Mendieta: Traces at the Hayward Gallery

Ana Mendieta: Traces
Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre
24 September – 15 December 2013

Despite leaving behind an archive of over 1000 slides and 60 films, as well as myriad drawings and sculptures, Ana Mendieta’s name sadly usually only crops up in relation to the tragic and untimely – not to mention suspicious – circumstances of her death. 

In 1985, aged just 36, when she fell from a window of the 34th floor apartment that she shared with her artist husband, Carl Andre, whom she’d married less than eight months previously. Given the tempestuous nature of their relationship, exacerbated by her growing success, many believe she was pushed. Andre was charged with her murder but acquitted after the third trial. The suggestion of suicide has been dismissed as unthinkable by her family and friends, but many critics have, regardless, analysed her work, in particular her Silueta series, as a rehearsal for death: uncannily, the way in which she fell on to the roof of the delicatessen below mirrors the outlined silhouette shape, with one arm raised in a stylised pose reminiscent of the Great Goddess, of so much of her work. 

To read the rest of this review, please go to: http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/ana-mendieta