"4th edition of ENTER festival starts April 18, 2009 at 6 PM."
This is the major art/science/technology festival held in Prague this year.
Over 80 participants from over 20 countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Venezuela, have contributed to the festival programme of performances, exhibitions, workshops and lectures scheduled throughout one week between Saturday, April 18, and Saturday, April 25, 2009.
ENTER is an international biannual showcase of creative practices positioned at the intersection of art, science and technology. In 2009, the fourth edition of the festival brings together artists and researchers to present and discuss current developments in what we sometimes call new media art, while addressing a theme of adaptation. The projects of Czech and international artists share the following set of tags, among others: nano, micro, macro, living, non-living, luminescence, ionosphere, space, data, exploration, spectrum, magnetic, perception, primitive, ritual, brain, code, motion, robot.
Facebook | ENTER|4
"4th edition of ENTER festival starts April 18, 2009 at 6 PM."
Inaugurazione - CreatiCityGate, per chi produce e consuma creatività
La Provincia di Milano inaugura un nuovo laboratorio della sperimentazione culturale ed industriale metropolitana. Un meeting point per designer, architetti, imprenditori, artisti, grafici, video maker, fotografi, pubblicitari dell'industria creativa. WWW Experience: lounge music, exhibition, happening in Real e Second Life.
In questa occasione Filippo Penati, Presidente della Provincia di Milano; Marco Accornero, Giunta della Camera di Commercio di Milano; Carlo Edoardo Valli, Presidente della Camera di Commercio di Monza e Brianza consegnano alle imprese vincitrice del Bando 2008 il premio: IMPRESE CREATIVE E INNOVATIVE 2008
Felix Thorn kommer til Bergen med sine fantastiske instrumenter! Felix Thorn er en svært ung musiker som har bygget sine automatiske instrumenter på rommet hjemme i Syd-London. Instrumentene styres av en datamaskin og spiller hans komposisjoner, som et moderne automata-orkester. Han ble for alvor presentert for kunstverdenen i fjor med en utstilling på Gasworks.
Lydgalleriet - Blog Archive - FELIX’S MACHINES April 17th-May 1st
Katharina Grosse’s work is characterized by an anarchic impulse. Since the beginning of the 1990s, she has been working on a pictorial form that disregards fixed boundaries and hierarchies. For the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin, Grosse has created a new group of works. The title of the show, “shadowbox”, gives rise to multilayered associations: from shadowboxing, to a kind of negative form of the white cube, all the way to the display.
Four oversized, concave ellipses face each other leaning against the interior walls of the Kunsthalle. The front sides of the heavy picture mediums made of laminated rigid foam are covered with Grosse’s characteristic spray painting. The issue is “to open up a performative space of thought in which everyone can perceive reality in a different way: without notions of good and evil, without hierarchies and borders.” The “shadowbox” is an open system. “Painting, thinking and acting in it means that there is no longer a reality that is more real than potentiality. Reality is thus updated in the possibilities of each individual at all times.” (Katharina Grosse) In this way, the audience is included in an aesthetic event in which qualities of experiencing architecture, sculpture and panel painting merge in one object. Hence, imagination and facts, illusion and abstraction, potentialities and realities cease to form opposite principles. It is precisely their coexistence that lends Grosse’s artistic work relevance within the larger social frame as well. For it offers perception – and cognition – a horizon of experience that goes beyond fixed ideas and unambiguous categories of mental and social stagnation.
Katharina Grosse (born 1961 in Freiburg/Breisgau) lives in Berlin. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Katja Blomberg (Haus am Waldsee, Berlin)
Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin
Cultural interdependence is theme for exhibition during 53rd Arts Biennal in June
Celeste is organising a unique exhibition, separate from the Celeste Prize, on an extrememly relevant theme which affects us all. A growing interdependence between nations and cultures is a reality which is having dramatic effects on our lives, Celeste proposes an exhibition of works in any media on this theme.
General presentation: http://www.celesteprize.com/venice2009/
Theme of 'dependtendency' : http://celesteprize.com/eng_1120/
Celeste Prize - International contemporary art prize - Painting, photography, video, installation, sculpture, animation, live media, digital graphics
Activating the Space of Reception
Friday 17, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April 2009
Featuring lectures, discussions, performances, projections and installations, this major international conference presents a critical appraisal of an expanding field of film and video art from multi-screen, immersive, performance-based live-projections through to interactive, digital and virtual reality multi-media events.
Coined in the mid-1960s by Stan VanDerBeek, but with its origins in the experiments of early twentieth century avant-garde filmmaking, media-technologies and performance art, the term Expanded Cinema identifies a film and video practice which activates the live context of watching, transforming cinema's historical and cultural 'architectures of reception' into sites of cinematic experience that are heterogeneous, performative and non-determined.
Works identified as Expanded Cinema often open up questions surrounding the spectator's construction of time/space relations, activating the spaces of cinema and narrative as well as other contexts of media reception. In doing so it offers an alternative and challenging perspective on filmmaking, visual arts practices and the narratives of social space, everyday life and cultural communication.
Speakers and artists include Mark Bartlett, Eugeni Bonet, Cecile Chich, Noam Elcott, Cate Elwes, Valie Export, Steve Farrer, Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder, Anja Gossens, Chrissie Iles, Cindy Keefer, Ji-Hoon Kim, Liz Kotz, Tamara Krikorian, Mike Leggett, Malcolm Le Grice, Anthony McCall, Chris Meigh-Andrews. Stephen Partridge, William Raban, Lucy Reynolds, Lis Rhodes, Tony Sinden, Yvonne Spielmann, Jonathan Walley, Chris Welsby, Duncan White, Peter Weibel and Maxa Zoller.
The conference is part of an AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) funded project entitled Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema set up by the late Dr Jackie Hatfield. Conducted by Duncan White and David Curtis, the project - based at the British Artists Film and Video Study Collection at Central St Martins, College of Art & Design (University of the Arts London) in collaboration with Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee - seeks to explore the various histories of expanded cinema and their impact on the question of narrative, space and time in experimental film and art practices.
British Artists' Film & Video Study Collection
Tate Modern|Symposia|Expanded Cinema: "the experiments of early twentieth century avant-garde fil"
Intuitive Visualization of the Unseen
April 4 – May 9, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 4, 6-8pm
P·P·O·W Gallery is pleased to announce our second solo exhibition of Bill Smith's works, Intuitive Visualization of the Unseen. This new body of work continues Smith's investigation of natural systems of order and how they are translated into sculptural form.
The viewer enters a partitioned space that oscillates between lightness and darkness revealing sculptures that emit their own light. Smith works with a wide variety of materials, many that can be found in industrial supply stores. There is also a video installation room where a projection is playing on a floating sculpture, entitled Loop Web.
Smith's sculptures express a dichotomic search that he tries to translate in his works. The delicacy and intricacy of the sculptures are formulated by observing nature. The method of construction emulates nature and like nature has no concept of good, evil, beauty or ugliness. This idea references Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil in application to the aesthetics in nature. Smith notes that "All terrestrial behavioral events and physical components, however bland, sweet or ghastly, conform to the same rules of mechanical beauty". By employing the unbiased rules of science, the works take the complexities of nature, including human behavior, and translates them into a nonjudgmental interpretation of our collective ecologies.
Bill Smith holds a BS in Science, a MFA in sculpture and a technical degree in Diesel Mechanics. His work has been exhibited at: The Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago; White Flag Projects, St. Louis; The Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis; the 5th Biennale de Montreal, Canada and most recently at The St. Louis Art Museum, St Louis. He is currently working on a project for the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia.
PPOW | Bill Smith Intuitive Visualization of the Unseen
Bill Smith, Intuitive Visualization of the Unseen video 1 on Vimeo
ALLA FONDAZIONE ARNALDO POMODORO
DAL 10 APRILE AL 26 GIUGNO 2009
SPACE TO EXPERIENCE
L’esposizione presenterà 11 gruppi di opere di grandi dimensioni, realizzate negli ultimi vent’anni da una tra le voci più autorevoli della scultura contemporanea internazionale.
La stagione espositiva 2009 della Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro di Milano si apre con la mostra di Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930), una delle personalità più autorevoli della scultura contemporanea internazionale, già medaglia d’oro alla VII Biennale Internazionale dell'Arte di San Paolo del 1956, rappresentante unica del padiglione della Polonia alla Biennale di Venezia del 1979 e celebrata nel 2008 da una retrospettiva al Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, al Museum Kunst Palast di Dusseldorf. Nello stesso anno la Tate Modern ha acquistato la sua imponente opera Embriology che sarà in mostra a Milano.
Dal 10 aprile al 26 giugno 2009, la personale, curata da Angela Vettese, proporrà 11 gruppi di opere di grandi dimensioni, realizzate negli ultimi vent’anni dall’artista polacca, che testimoniano la sua versatilità nell’uso dei materiali e nella descrizione della condizione umana.
Magdalena Abakanowicz è diventata una delle voci più prestigiose del panorama artistico mondiale, cambiando il significato di scultura, da oggetto da guardare a spazio per fare esperienza - space to experience, come recita il titolo dell’iniziativa - attraverso creazioni basate primariamente sulla forma umana o animale, la cui struttura organica è usata metaforicamente per esprimere una richiesta spirituale o filosofica.
Di qui una totale elasticità nell’uso dei materiali dal corten al bronzo all’alluminio ma anche corda, filati e grovigli di tessuti di iuta.
Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro
1 – 25 April 2009
The Opening: Tuesday, 31 March, 6 - 8pm
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to announce Merlin Carpenter’s Intrinsic Value as its forthcoming exhibition. This marks the fifth show in a series where the artist only produces the paintings in the midst of the show’s preview.
The Opening first took place in 2007 at Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York and was followed by a show at Overduin & Kite in Los Angeles. The third The Opening, organised by Galerie Christian Nagel took place in a fashion store and a Mercedes Benz showroom in Berlin. In the latter show the artist painted the bare canvases whilst reaching out of a moving car. Last year Carpenter also staged The Opening at Mitterrand+Sanz in Zurich.
Merlin Carpenter writes: “In the fifth of a series of shows called The Opening Merlin Carpenter will sign eleven blank canvases shortly before the opening. If the works are painted this will happen during the posh private view. Like Dalí signing hundreds of blank pieces of paper, or La Monte Young performing pieces before they were composed, the empty canvases beg the question of what possible value these works have. The guarantee of the biography of the artist? The power of the gallery? Price-fixing or oligarchy? Energy stolen from the bohemians who decorate the room? Or something intrinsic to a work which evidently could be anything? A Matisse is still heralded by the auction houses as being of ‘intrinsic value’. For the contemporary art scene this
implies finding a source of value untouched by the recent speculative madness, whether it’s painting or critical authenticity. Meanwhile, with a gnawing sense of dread, capitalists are looking for a way to rebuild profits in the depression. Pay will have to go down and work hours increase for most people under the threat of starvation and Mad Max. Only Marx shows where value comes from (labour, surplus-value) and offers the explanation for credit crises. Because of this, I wonder whether this time Marxism itself will be used to locate real value. Those cultural producers studying Marx, like Carpenter (me), could unwittingly provide fuel for further exploitation by explaining to government elites just how to reassert profitable conditions. Better to go on
art strike, wander into your own show, outraged... ready to vandalise and destroy”.
Merlin Carpenter was born in the UK in 1967. He lives and works in London. He has had solo exhibitions in major institutions in the United States and in Europe, these include the Bergen Kunsthall in Norway and the Vienna Secession. Carpenter has also participated in numerous international group shows, such as at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Whitechapel Gallery in London and the current exhibition at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (SONIC YOUTH etc.: SENSATIONAL FIX), which will run until 10 May 2009. Published monographs on the artist include Nueva Generación, (Distrito 4, Madrid, 2004) with an essay by Melanie Gilligan and As a Painter I Call Myself the Estate of (Secession, Vienna, 2000).
Merlin Carpenter is represented by Nang Gallery. With thanks to Reena Spaulings Fine Art, New York.
Simon Lee Gallery - Press Release
"NextArt Foundation invites you to compete in International art-project 'RUSSIAN ART WEEK / Art Assembly’2009', its provocative program for emerging students of Arts and Design faculties . Win a chance to present your designs and art works at a high profile exhibition hall of Moscow Painter’s Union “Moscow Artist House” and compete for Platinum Symbol of Arts / Design for Arts&Design Excellence.
RUSSIAN ART WEEK / Art Assembly will take place in Moscow, Russia on the April, 13-18, 2009."
RUSSIAN ART WEEK
Salon 94 is pleased to present Green Pink Caviar, an exhibition of new paintings and photographs by Marilyn Minter. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Continuing her examination of glamour and its underbelly, Minter juxtaposes photorealistic paintings and painterly photographs, which hone in on the moment where clarity becomes abstraction and beauty commingles with the grotesque. In Minter’s world, the body is cast as a site of aggressive desire. Tongues covered in glittering candy attempt to push beyond the picture plane and enter the viewer’s space. An androgynous nipple is menaced by a snake tattoo and adorned with pearls, and a freckled, made up model blows a bubble that is about to burst.
In Pop Rocks, Minter’s largest painting to date, as well as in several photographs, Minter explores the idea of painting with the tongue. To achieve these works, she directed her models to lick brightly colored candy on a sheet of glass and then photographed them from the other side. The tongues mixed the “paint” with saliva, slurping and pushing the color around the glass surface. This concept of painting with the body mimics Minter’s own technique of finishing her highly glossy surfaces with her fingers.
Marilyn has always been interested in blurring the boundaries between commercial and high art. She has shown her photographs as billboards, aired a commercial on late night television, and done fashion shoots in which she subverts cultural ideals of beauty and sexuality. Concurrent to our exhibition, her directorial debut, also entitled Green Pink Caviar will be screened at 44 ½, Creative Time’s presentation of video art in Times Square as a part of Chewing Color. The video will be presented as a trailer to midnight movies at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on Houston Street. For more information on the video, including screening times, please visit www.greenpinkcaviar.com.
Marilyn Minter was born in 1948 in Shreveport, Louisiana, and lives and works in New York. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Florida in 1970 and a Masters of Fine Art from Syracuse University in 1972. Recent exhibitions include the 2006 Whitney Biennial, SITE Santa Fe, Fotomuseum Winterthur, and a solo exhibition at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati in September 2009.
3 Artists Selected by Dan Graham and a work by Dan Graham
April 18 - May 23 2009
303 Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition curated by artist and writer, Dan Graham. The show will feature the works of Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Wineke Gartz, Paul Sietsema, and Graham himself. Each included artist will focus on the nature of space, the material of representation, and how their confluences define perceptions and memory. The exhibition uses the gallery as a forum to show some of Graham’s favorite artists less known to New Yorkers for an inter-generational communication – a celebration of Dan Graham’s reciprocal influence over his four decades of art-making.
Konrad Dedobbeleer starts with functional industrial objects as his raw materials, contorting and recombining their shapes and surfaces to reveal unexpected alliances between the figurative cracks. An exact replica of a standard plastic cup is cast in nickel, a double-sided poster is suspended from the wall. The arcane and unexpected new worlds created by his interventions and forms is offset by the robbery of any functional use the original components might have had. Similarly dissociative, Wineke Gartz's video and film installations give a sense of place both non-specific and intensely phenomenal, expounding memory and knowledge with layered perspectives, projections, text, sound, and collage elements. Her works are always site-specific, usually conceptualized offsite, and charged by the compositional process of placing each element in relation to its architectural surroundings. Here, she will show an installation consisting of drawings, photos and collages related to the gallery space; while Paul Sietsema jumps between media (often from within the same piece), exploring how imagery and material alter our understanding of culture. Dan Graham himself will contribute “Death By Chocolate,” a video shot over 9 years in the West Edmonton Shopping Mall. The video is an American’s celebration of Canadian shopping mall culture and social space. The video relates to a photo-essay Graham co-wrote in 1988 for Artforum corporate atriums in New York dealing with the 80s development of suburbia inside an urban corporate context. The constantly shifting modes of representation from within and without the viewer’s own consciousness is the hinge on which each artist’s pieces are leveled. In essence, a perpetually mutating freedom of cognizance is the only determinate ability useful in parsing the density of stimuli that surround us at every moment.
Dan Graham began his art career began in 1964 when he moved to New York and opened the John Daniels Gallery. His artistic fields consist of film, video, performance, photography, architectural models, and glass and mirror structure. Graham especially focuses on the relationship between his artwork and the viewer in his pieces. Graham Graham was known in1980s for his mirrored glass, quasi-architecture Pavilions. A retrospective of his work organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles will open February 15 – May 25, 2009 and will travel to the Whitney June 25, 2009. 303 Gallery would like to thank Marian Goodman Gallery New York and Paris for their support of this project.
303 Gallery -
80 GALLERIES CONFIRMED TO PARTICIPATE IN ZONA MACO® 2009!
Z ONAMACO® MÉXICO ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO will take place on April 22nd- 26th, 2009 at Centro Banamex, Hall D, in Mexico City. The fair´s Selection Committee evaluated nearly 150 applications and has selected 86 galleries to participate.
This list includes galleries from 19 countries (Austria, Spain, England, France, Italy, USA and Mexico among others); some of them have participated in earlier editions as Galería Arte Mexicano (GAM), Elastic, Kurimanzutto, De la Barra, Krobath Wimmer, Krinzinger, Jacob Karpio, Galeria Enrique Guerrero and Galerie Laurent Godin among others.
Zona Maco 2009
Sat 14. Mar 2009 - Sat 25. Apr 2009
Für seine zweite Einzelausstellung bei Johann König, Berlin installiert der Belgier Kris Martin einen Heißluftballon in der Galerie, wodurch die Architektur des Ausstellungsraumes vollständig aufgelöst wird. Wie vor einem Start liegen Ballon und Korb auf dem Boden. Im Hauptraum wird der Ballon von Ventilatoren aufgeblasen, bis der leicht flatternde Stoff an die Mauern des Gebäudes stößt. Es entsteht ein surrealer Effekt: Die Besucher treten durch die Öffnung des Ballons in den Raum ein, wie in den Bauch eines Walfischs.
Kris Martin greift ein romantisches Thema auf: Der Traum vom Fliegen mit einem archaischen Gefährt. Angetrieben nur durch Flammen und heiße Luft schwebt ein Ballon fast geräuschlos über die Erde. Die Installation im Galerieraum verkehrt diese Metapher für Freiheit aber in eine geradezu klaustrophobische Fantasie. Der Ballon will fliegen, doch der White Cube hält ihn fest im Griff.
Im kleineren zweiten Ausstellungsraum zeigt Kris Martin ein Foto des Matterhorns, das er bei einer Bildagentur gekauft und leicht modifiziert hat. Der Künstler rahmte die Fotografie und veränderte dabei den Bildausschnitt, so dass die Spitze des Berges fehlt. Zu sehen ist nur noch der Weg, der zum Gipfel führt. Er steht für die beschwerliche Tour, die Strapazen des Aufstiegs, die lebensgefährliche Unternehmung – das Ziel hingegen verschwindet im Nebel. Wie beim Ballon verwendet Martin ein Bild mit hoher Symbolkraft. Das Matterhorn ist einer der wenigen Berge der Welt, dessen markante Umrisse viele Menschen auf Anhieb erkennen. Seine Konturen stehen symbolisch für die Sehnsucht, existentielle Grenzen zu überwinden.
„Martin untersucht seine Themen mit einer spezifischen Mischung aus Melancholie, Verspieltheit und Eleganz, die an Künstler wie James Lee Byars, Cerith Wyn Evans oder sogar Félix González-Torres erinnert, an ihr intensives Bewusstsein des Ephemeren und Fragilen, ihre minimalistisch bis dekadente visuelle Stilistik und ihre Romantik sowie die wiederkehrend humorvollen jedoch konzeptuell rigorosen Methoden“, schreibt Jens Hoffmann. In konzeptueller Tradition mit verschiedenen Medien wie Zeichnung, Fotografie, Collage, Objekt oder Ready Made arbeitend, ist das Werk von Kris Martin zudem gekennzeichnet durch eine sinnliche Dimension. Oft nutzt der Künstler kulturell vorcodiertes Material als Ausgangspunkt. Durch minimale Transformation werden die Gegenstände ihrer ursprünglichen Funktion beraubt. Es entsteht eine Leerstelle: Der Ballon, der nicht fliegt. Der Berg, dessen Gipfel unsichtbar bleibt. In dieser Leere eröffnet sich Raum für Imagination. Der Besucher wird eingeladen, diese Fehlstelle mit Fantasien zu füllen.
Kris Martin (*1972, in Kortrijk, Belgien) lebt und arbeitet in Gent. Einzelausstellungen des Künstlers waren unter anderem im P.S.1 des Museums of Modern Art in New York, im Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco und im GAMeC im italienischen Bergamo zu sehen. Die Gruppenaustellung „Political / Minimal“ in den KW – Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin zeigte Arbeiten des Künstlers. Ab 18. April sind Werke von Martin in der Gruppenausstellung „The Quick and the Dead“ im Walker Art Center in Minneapolis zu sehen. Für Dezember 2009 ist eine Soloshow im Aspen Art Museum, in Aspen, Colorado, USA geplant.
Johann König, Berlin: Kris Martin
Frederieke Taylor gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Ellen Driscoll entitled FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 1, the artist's first solo show with the gallery. The exhibition will feature sculpture, drawings, and a glass piece by Ellen Driscoll which reflect her continued investigation of the impact of natural-resource harvesting and consumption on our landscape and its architecture.
Frederieke Taylor gallery
Jane Kim / Thrust Projects is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Momoyo Torimitsu . One of the most prominent artists to come out of Japan in the late 90's, Torimitsu creates sculptures, installations, videos and photographs that force the viewer to reconsider the effect of capitalism in daily life, the hypocritical imagery of corporate culture; the media stereotypes of happiness, cuteness, and smiling; and the global obsession with consumerism. Torimitsu presents exaggerations of cultural commentary that are simultaneously humorous and disturbing through a vibrant style that is a mélange of energetic pop and hyper realism. Realizing that Torimitsu’s exaggerations expose a cultural truth, viewers experience a discourse between the desire to laugh and a feeling of unsettlement that forces them to reevaluate their role in the acceptance of these social norms.
Momoyo Torimitsu’s exhibition at Jane Kim/Thrust Projects addresses America’s consumption of products through two related parts. Scattered across the gallery floor are 80 resin small sculptures imitating melted chocolate Easter bunnies. Torimitsu’s bunnies serve as a commentary on the commodity fetishism born from the annual U.S. holiday industry. Like their hollow bodies, the bunnies are void of their mythic meaning and theological connotations. The purchase of chocolate Easter bunnies has become automatic; people are programmed to buy them since they’re “available for a limited time only,” causing the Easter bunnies to symbolize the country’s sacred ritual of consumerism. Given the current state of the economy, these bunnies embody the desperation that urges the purchaser to buy! Buy! BUY! in order to uphold the foundations of capitalism.
Joining the bunnies, Torimitsu’s Chihuahuas stare blankly at the gallery’s visitors. Hand-sculpted in clay, these sculptures reflect upon the recent celebrity fixation of keeping small dogs as accessories and status symbols. This trend has trickled down the social hierarchy to such a degree that grooming centers and dog hotels have sprouted across cities to cater to these pets. One Chihuahua sits on the chair, taking the place from the owner or the visitor. The Chihuahua’s vacant stare and the grotesque deformities of the bunnies confront the viewer, asking whether objectification actually limits the role of the buyer by enslaving him within a cycle of capitalism and object obsession.
Momoyo Torimitsu is a New York City-based artist who has exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Raised in Japan, She came to NY in 1997 with her now celebrated international project of Miyata Jiro , the crawling robot of a stereotypical Japanese businessman. She has gone on to create projects that address timely social and global issues. Horizons (2004) provide a visual commentary on the American War in Iraq (Swiss Institute NY, 2004). Inside track (2004) pits three businessmen robots in a global business death match (Deitch Projects NY, 2004). In Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable (2000), she put two oversized inflatable balloon bunnies in a small room, symbolizing Japan’s cuteness culture (My Reality, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 2001). Torimitsu is also concerned with the relationship that the viewer forms with her work. In Never Forever (2004), the artist coated the walls of an exhibition room in clay and allowed visitors to alter her work or contribute their own to create a continually changing and evolving project of public art. Torimitsu’s most recent work was collaboration with the computer generated imagery lab at University of Singapore called Smile (2008), a cultural and political examination of how we smile.
PLAYING THE CITY
20 April–6 May 2009
Press Conference: Monday, 20 April 2009, Schirn Kunsthalle, 11:00 AM
How does the public participate in political dialogue? What constitutes public opinion? What do people understand “public space” to mean? The significance of the social plays a central role in the discourse on art. Concepts such as participation, collaboration, the social turn, and community-based art have clearly influenced both the production and the reception of art. The exhibition project Playing the City reveals public space to be a collective, free, and designable
space. From 20 April to 6 May 2009, twenty-three international artists, such as Ulf Aminde, Dara Friedman, Dora García, Cezary Bodzianowski, and Sharon Hayes, will turn central Frankfurt into the site of countless activities and situations, ranging from performances by way of installations to “guerrilla actions” that involve the audience in a wide variety of ways. Playing the City can also be followed on the Internet, as a digital extension of public space: the Web page
www.playingthecity.de—created especially for the show—brings together all the video, text, and visual materials, an exhibition calendar, and a blog. It is thus a catalog and exhibition forum in one. An office and exhibition headquarters has been set up in one of the Schirn’s gallery space where the exhibition team can do its work in public: fine-tuning the Web site, answering questions about the exhibition, and organizing, commenting on, and documenting all the actions. In addition, works by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Nasan Tur, among others, and videos of the actions that have already taken place will be shown in the gallery as a film loop.
The idea that Playing the City realizes on various levels is a continuation of the ideas of important avant-garde movements of the twentieth century. Already at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Dada movement rejected “conventional” art and art forms as well as bourgeois ideals, taking instead to the street. Movements such as the radical leftist intellectuals and artists from the circle around Guy Debord’s Internationale situationniste operated on the line of intersection between art and politics, architecture and reality from the late 1950s onward. The Situationists developed, among other things, a concept of the “theoretical and practical production of situation” in which life itself was supposed to become a work of art. In the 1960s the Fluxus movement proposed the maxim of art and life as a unity and thus considered the diverse processes of everyday life to be as relevant as the banal. In parallel with that movement, action
art, happenings, and performance art strove to bring art and the reality of life closer together.
Especially when art was combined with politics—which along with the employment of the body represented an important strand of action art—collaboration and the incorporation of the public played important roles.
Since the 1990s, under new social conditions, a practice of art based on participation has become increasing important, in parallel with an increase in the interactive and collaborative media forms on the Internet and the realities of the nomadism of contemporary globalism. The viewers are integrated into the production of art works in many ways, and the division between traditional roles of the artist as producer and the audience as recipients are being broken down
as much as possible. This has produced diverse forms of interactive, cooperative, and interdisciplinary approaches, though they resist clear categorization. In L’esthétique relationnelle from 1998 (translated as Relational Aesthetics), the French theorist Nicolas Bourriaud developed a fundamental theory of these art forms, which he subsumed under the concept of “relational art.”
He sees utopian potential in their developing of alternative spaces in which other forms of social relationships, critique, and sociability can be tried out. By opening up a new possibility for communication through common activities, relational art can counter social alienation.
The exhibition project Playing the City offers a current look into the wide-ranging varieties of participatory and collaborative art and is itself an experiment. As a clandestine “guerrilla tactic,” spectacular surprise, or temporary place of encounter, it makes central Frankfurt its own. For example, the Vienna-based artist Leopold Kessler has invented a “beer garden” especially for Frankfurt. Parasols, tables, and chairs invite visitors to linger. Those who sit down hoping to order
something, however, wait in vain. This Ghost Terrace, as he calls the work, is merely the formal repetition of a traditional urban inventory. Changing the perception of reality by means of unexpected musical interventions is the objective of the artist Dara Friedman. In her “Ballad of See Ya,” also created especially for Frankfurt, she presents the Rolling Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in public spaces at various times—performed by soloists and street
musicians, the carillon of the Alte Nikolaikirche, the organ of the Kaiserdom, the public intercom system of the Kaufhof department store. In addition, the artist will place an advertisement seeking singers and musicians for a ”heartfelt performance”. The artist Nasan Tur will also operate in public spaces. His Backpacks project is realized not by him but by the public: Tur has packed socalled active backpacks with equipment for various actions in public spaces and make them
available for loan. One backpack has material for a demonstration; another makes it possible to cook on the street; a third is packed items for a soapbox orator.
First realized in 1967 and performed again as part of Playing the City, Fluids by the American artist and theorist Allan Kaprow should be understood as a historical reference. Fluids exemplifies the terms “happening” and “activity” that Kaprow coined as well as a radical extension of the traditional concept of art. A group of volunteers constructs a minimalist outdoor sculpture that slowly melts once finished. The collaborative work on the piece plays a role that is just as
important as its finished and ultimately melting form.
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt