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Radically challenging the solidified body with The Virtual Self at New Art Exchange, Feb 24

22 February 2017

The The Virtual Self discussion is on at Nottingham’s New Art Exchange on February 24.

The evening is free to everyone, and takes the form of a talk between UNTITLED: art on the conditions of our time co-curator Hansi Momodu-Gordon and artists Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, where they will discuss “how social constructs such as class, race, gender and politics can be solidified or radically challenged in the digital realm.”

In an exploration of technology and identity, the event will look at the bodies place within future representation of our virtual selves.

See the FB event page for more details.**

Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, ‘Finding Fanon Part Two’ (2016) film still. Courtesy the artists.

Studio practice in progress at How to be being at Super Dakota, Feb 23 – Apr 8

22 February 2017

The How to be being film program is on at Brussels’ Super Dakota, opening February 23 and running to April 8.

Co-conceived with Alex Clarke, the event features three films by Gareth Long showing ‘Work in Progress’ (2010), Jaakko Pallasvuo‘s ‘Blue’ (2016) and Elsa-Louise Manceaux & Balthazar Berling‘s ‘Debouts, Salis, Cernés’ (2017).

How to be being is part of larger series of shows of the same name on studio practice, which opened January 12 and is also running until April 8. In addition, Clarke is also exhibiting solo show This Happened To Me, which also opens on February 23 and runs to April 8.

See the Super Dakota webiste for details**

Where are we heading?: In the hazy divide between art + the written word

22 February 2017

“How do artists work with words, and writers with images?” asks the event Where Art Meets Literature, co-hosted by London’s DRAF and Frieze Academy taking place on February 25. 

Currently & Emotion: Translations, ed. Sophie Collins (2016). Published by Test Centre, London.

This question is not exactly a new one, written about in depth in publications like New Inquiry and Frieze, there are also the existing practices of countless artist and writers who have been questioning this boundary for years, exhibitions devoted to the topic, such as Rhizome‘s 2015 online project Poetry as Practice

The all-day Where Art Meets Literature symposium, hosted by Ben Eastham, will look at this long history, and the ways in which each discipline (increasingly) support each other. The event will attempt to unpick the relationship between the two fields, and will feature contributions by a number of artists, writers and theorists researching this intersection, including Sophie Collins, Sophie Jung, Holly Pester and Nisha Ramayya, as well as Tom McCarthyBrian Dillon and Deborah Levy, among others. 

While there certainly has been a relationship between the two for a long time, Daniel Penny makes a confident, yet precise observation in his essay ‘The Irrelevant and the Contemporary‘ that “POETRY is having a moment.” However, the distinction between art and literature is a hazy one, is increasingly difficult to define. Perhaps the question shouldn’t be how the two disciplines working with each other but rather how they are becoming one.

Tracing the history of poetry, especially from page to screen, and its movement between contexts, the practice confidently defines itself now as anything. From memes and Twitter accounts, to image macros, vlogs and status updates, the potential for a possible platform or stage ‘to speak in words’ is endless, and obviously positions ‘post-internet’ discourse and the alt-lit community in the thick of this conversation. In this vein, we can also declare the presence of literature in art as going beyond just a ‘reading’ or artists’ poetry book, but also in statements, press releases, installations; words placed on paintings or the walls of a gallery; performances, lectures, essay-films, and voiceovers. 

Steve Roggenbuck and S. Petticrew, ‘Our Life is so Weird’ (2016). Installation view. Image Courtesy of Rowing, London

Using words as a material or as an appropriative strategy for the concept of a work is probably what creates a distinction between the two. In ‘Art Hearts Poetry,’ Quinn Latimer comments on the colonial nature of the art world and its hungry, capitalist agenda where it “devours and assimilates everything.” The idea that literature is being picked up and plucked out is evident in the strange phenomenon where artists can arguably enter more easily into the space of the ‘writing and spoken word world,’ but writers-by-label find it more difficult to enter the ‘art world.’ It’s a reality that makes one realize there isn’t such a fluid dialogue as one might think.

But, expanding past the notion of disciplines and the ‘trending’ of poetry in art, or vice versa, the collapse of these categories is perhaps a more relevant discussion to be having, and one that can’t be removed from a wider, more cross-disciplinary conversation that is also related to the growing need and urgency for intersectional discourse. Artists like video-maker and poet Steve Roggenbuck and multimedia artist and poet Penny Goring are two examples, among many, of artists who to a degree eliminate any idea of a separation between disciplines, seamlessly weaving many languages into one practice.

Penny Goring @ ‘And No Animal is Without Enemy’ (2016). Courtesy @human_pony.

That said, it would be too reductive to assume there is some special relationship forming solely between art an literature. In the same way music and DJ-ing as a practice has entered the art world, or an Instagram account becomes a serious subject for an institutional exhibition, this topic belongs to a larger conversation. The changing nature of contemporary art and the ways in which the unspoken rules and formulas that used to quietly underpin the language of the industry are now breaking down. Are we falling out of love? Or is it just longing? Maybe it just isn’t enough anymore. At a time when ‘making’ for an artist feels like a dead end, perhaps we are searching for revival.**

The Where Art Meets Literature symposium is taking place at London’s DRAF on February 25.

The anxiety-inducing architectures of physical + psychological boundaries at Concrete Jungle at Annka Kultys, , Feb 21 – Mar 18

Monday

The Concrete Jungle exhibition is on at London’s Annka Kultys, opening February 21 and running to March 18.

Curated by Alexandra White, the show features video works by Copenhagen-based Brazilian video artist Tamar Guimarães and performance artists Michelle Williams Gamaker and Julia Kouneski. They explore “the physical and psychological boundaries between the human and architectural body within the specific context of Brazil.”

Concrete Jungle is rooted in dichotomy, between the natural and manmade, reality and fantasy. Here, Gamaker and Kouneski will present a performative video work described as ‘anxiety-inducing’ and Guimarães’ will present 16-mm film ‘Canoas’. 

See the Annka Kultys website for details.**

Tamar Guilamãres for ‘Concrete Jungle’ exhibition (2017). Video still. Courtesy the artist + Annka Kultys, London.

 

Valuing oneself + unpacking the past with Cristine Brache’s I Love Me, I Love Me Not

Monday

Cristine Brache’s solo exhibition I Love Me, I Love Me Not at New York’s Fierman opened February 10 and is running until March 19. 

The exhibition comes accompanied by a text, written by Brache and annotated by manuel arturo abreu, which moves between the first-person subjective experience of her Taíno, Puerto Rican and US-American identity and abreu’s theoretical footnotes that connect and challenge the ideas of the two artists. 

“With each pass, from vessel to vessel.6 
 
6 Brache presents works that speak to the coloniality of mestizx identity, with its simultaneous assimilatory striving and inexorable sense of loss: a maple domino table with colonial-style legs features porcelain Hoyle-clone playing cards instead of dominos on the raised playing area, which has been coated in the “flesh” tones of silicone.”
 
In addition, Blood No Memory was held on February 11 and included poetry readings by Brache, Rin Johnson, Jameson Fitzpatrick, and Cat Tyc.
 
Cristine Brache is an artist and poet who works between Toronto and Miami and recently exhibited Givens at Los Angeles’ AALA. Her first book of poems, I love me, I love me not via Químerica Books will be published in late 2017.**

Banking on the ‘Blue Hour’ with Heatsick + Bass Clef’s HSBC musical travelogue

Friday

A collaboration between Berlin-based producer Heatsick (aka Steven Warwick) and London’s Bass Clef (aka Ralph Cumbers), HSBC released a five-track 12-inch EP, Die Blaue Stunde, via Angela Bulloch‘s ABCDLP label in January 2017. 

HSBC (Heatsick & Bass Clef), Die Blaue Stunde (2017). EP cover. Artwork by Angela Bulloch. Courtesy the artists.

The piece was exhibited as part of Bulloch’s Large Blue Listening Station performance presented at Art Genève in the same month, while an excerpt of ‘The Blind Owl‘ was shared on AQNB’s Souncloud yesterday. According to Warwick, who below shares title-track ‘Blaue Stunde’ — along with some notes on what inspired them — the partnership came together over the last couple of years. The two artists debuted their live performance with ‘Travelogue‘ at Schinkel Pavillon for Schinkel-Klause in Berlin on May 5 before Bulloch invited Warwick and Cumbers to release a record on her ABCDLP imprint, then performing it as part of the aforementioned installation at Villa Sarasin on January 25. On record, the music is at once calm and frenetic, taking the analogue daze of Bass Clef’s sonic temperament and Heatsick’s coarse minimalism, and marrying it with the latter producer’s evolving oeuvre that has been pulling focus on the poetry of words at their most direct.  

Listen to ‘Blaue Stunde’ below, and read on for some of Warwick’s thoughts on the EP: 

“‘The Blaue Stunde’ (or, ‘Blue Hour’) is a German phrase for the moment during dusk and dawn when the colours of the night and day are changing. It has magical connotations and is associated with disorientation and late night revelations. I’ve also used the phrase ‘Blaue Stunde’ previously in a Heatsick song (C’était Un Rendez-Vous). 

‘The Blind Owl’ takes it’s name from the novel by the Persian writer Sadegh Hedayet, in which the character has a late-night conversation with a owl-shaped shadow on the wall. 

[For] the other songs, we wanted to use the vehicle of calling ourselves HSBC and navigating the world, taking in sensations of the sauna, and travel, and writing about them in a travelogue.”** 

HSBC (Heatsick & Bass Clef)‘s Die Blaue Stunde is out now via Angela Bulloch’s ABCDLP label.